The British Columbia Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a male found deceased in North Vancouver in 2004.
Mr. Dante Ponzanetti, aged 20, was reported missing to Vancouver Police Department in June of 2003. Seventeen months later, in November of 2004, a hiker discovered skeletal human remains in the mountains near North Vancouver. The bones subsequently underwent comprehensive forensic analysis, but remained unidentified in spite of extensive efforts by police and coroners.
With assistance from the Vancouver Police Department Missing Persons Unit, North Vancouver RCMP, and the BC Police Missing Persons Center the remains were determined to be those of Dante Antonio Ponzanetti.
The identification was made possible by modern forensic analysis, in combination with the application of an enhanced identification model developed locally by the Identification and Disaster Response Unit of the BC Coroners Service. Specifically, the association was made possible through a ‘cold hit’ on the BC Coroners Service DNA database, the only such humanitarian DNA index in Canada.
The circumstances surrounding Mr. Ponzanetti’s death are not clear and will remain under investigation.
Mr. Ponzanetti’s family of has been notified of his death. On behalf of family members, the BC Coroners Service asks that the media respect their privacy at this difficult time.
Dr. Bill Inkster
Identification and Disaster Response Unit
BC Coroners Service