Man found dead in Columbia fire may take three weeks to identify

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | 5:24 p.m. CST; updated 6:14 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 21, 2009

COLUMBIA — Investigators are waiting on DNA tests to positively identify a man whose body was found Tuesday in the remnants of a burnt shed in south Columbia, Capt. Eric Hartman of the Columbia Fire Department said.

The DNA comparison test is expected to be finished in two to three weeks, Hartman said.

"Investigators have a solid lead on the identity of the man, but DNA analysis will be required before they release any more information," Hartman said.

The DNA samples were taken Wednesday morning during an autopsy performed by the Boone County Medical Examiner's Office. Calls to the office Wednesday were not returned, nor was the cause of death released.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Hartman said the Fire Department will release its findings "in the next few days."

The man's body was found early Tuesday morning after fire crews extinguished a shed fire at 4200 Rock Quarry Road.

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