Kraig King

Body identified

Decomposed human remains found near Ridgeland in fall 1982 have been positively identified as a White Bear Lake, Minn., man, and are part of a continuing homicide investigation, according to a Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, announcement by Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said the remains have been identified as Kraig King, a White Bear Lake, Minn., man who disappeared in spring 1982.

The investigation was a joint effort of the Sheriff’s Department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and the DNA Doe Project.

King’s next of kin have been notified, Fitzgerald added.

On Sept. 21, 1982, loggers found a pile of clothes in the woods on private land about 100 yards from the tree line near Wisconsin Hwy. 25, about four miles north of Ridgeland.

Upon closer inspection, they discovered it was – in reality -- badly decomposed human remains, the sheriff’s release said.

“After conducting an autopsy a pathologist reported the deceased was a white male, between 18 and 22 years old, weighing 180 to 195 pounds and was 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9,” Fitzgerald said. “The subject had brown hair and a husky build. It is estimated the time of death was April to May 1982 and the manner of death was homicide.”

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s help as the investigation of King’s homicide continues, the sheriff said.

Anyone with information on why the victim would have been in Barron County in 1982, or any knowledge of this case, is asked to call (715) 537-3106.

On Jan. 7, Fitzgerald said his department and the other groups mentioned in the release were also working to identify the skeletal remains of an unidentified man found in November 2017 in the town of Maple Grove south of Barron.

The DNA Doe Project is a non-profit volunteer organization formed to identify unidentified deceased persons using forensic genealogy.

Fitzgerald said the DNA Doe Project also wanted to acknowledge the assistance of DNA Solutions, HudsonAlpha Discovery, Justin Loe – Full Genomes Corporation, Dr. Greg Magoon – Aerodyne Research Corporation, and GEDmatch.