Human remains found in Grant County in 1995 identified as Marine Corps. veteran

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GRANT COUNTY, Wis. (KCRG) - The Grant County Coroner's Office identified humans remains found nearly 25 years ago.

In the fall of 1995, authorities found a severely decomposed body in a small, wooded area on Highway 151, near Maryville Heights, Wisconsin. It was determined the man died from a heart-related condition, but attempts to identify him were not successful.

The FBI could not get fingerprints to check its databases.

The remains were named "John Doe" and buried in a county-owned cemetery in 1996.

Grant County Coroner Phyllis Fuerstenberg reopened the case in early 2019. Using new technology, the FBI was able to obtain fingerprints and use them to search.

The man was eventually identified as Gale Joseph Byers, of Boscobel, according to the sheriff's office. He would have been 80-years-old.

The coroner and detectives notified his family and told him where he was buried.

The sheriff's office said Byers was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. The Grant County Veterans Service Office said Byers entered the service in 1959. They are checking to see what military benefits may be available.

The sheriff's office said there will be graveside service in the near future.