SAGINAW COUNTY, Michigan (WNEM) — Human remains found more than three years ago were identified as a missing 27-year-old University of Michigan student, according to the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office.

On Sept. 9, 2018, a man found possible human remains while checking trail cameras on his hunting property. The remains were discovered around a half of a mile south of Gary Road and a half of a mile north of M-57 in Chapin Township, according to the sheriff’s office.

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It was unknown at the time how long the remains were there. An examination was conducted by Dr. Joseph Hefner, PHD in forensic anthropology. A DNA profile was generated but no matches were found, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detective Sgt. Simmons was told Othram Inc. in The Woodlands, Texas, could help with a genealogy study of the remains to help find a possible identity. Othram told Simmons the remains belonged to an Asian man.

Simmons and Det. North took the information and searched open cases involving missing Asian men in the state of Michigan during the correct time frame. Xin Rong, 27, a PHD student at the U of M, became a person of interest for the missing remains. He was reported missing in 2017 after a plane he was piloting crashed in Ontario.

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The University of Michigan Police Department was contacted, and the missing case was talked about. Rong’s dental records were sent to Hefner for a comparison.

With the dental records, Hefner was able to identify the remains as Xin Rong.

Rong’s family was located and notified about the discovery.

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