Boy killed in car crash in 1987 finally identified - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Boy killed in car crash in 1987 finally identified

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John Bryan Moore, 1987 John Bryan Moore, 1987
TEMPE, Ariz. -

A 16-year-old boy left home more than 25 years ago and his family hadn't heard from him since.

They spent years searching for him, and almost 3 decades later, they get some closure.

Sadly, it certainly wasn't the news they were hoping for. 16-year-old John Bryan Moore left Los Angeles County back in 1987 and took a road trip to Florida.

On his way back to California, he got in a car accident here in Arizona on I-10, and his body was never identified until now.

Joe Moore just recently found out his 16-year-old son John Bryan was killed in a car accident more than 25 years ago.

His body was buried in a Tempe cemetery for John and Jane Does because investigators weren't able to identify it.

His family says they never gave up hope but his sister admits it was hard to stay positive.

"There's that hope that he was able to start his life, and then you get the reality that he's a teenage runaway and the odds of him making it are small," says sister Joelle Moore.

Two years ago, the case was re-opened. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office received a federal grant to help solve cold cases just like this one.

"These are people with loved ones who loved them, they are not indigent homeless, not from another country, they are our children," says Dr. Laura Fulginiti, Medical Examiner's Office.

With the help of Steve Leon, a former DPS officer, investigators hit the ground running traveling all over the country, matching dental records and DNA samples.

They managed to whittle down the 30,000 hits in the missing persons database to just one.

"I was fortunate to be able to write 'solved' on there."

Thanks to their hard work, Moore can finally go home.

"I just know this program they got going needs to keep going. There's many more kids that are out there like this. Without these federal funds its going to stop and instead of 25 years, parents are going to go on forever not knowing," says Joe Moore.

Future funding for this program is under review. The county has more than 200 cold cases just like this that need to be solved.

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