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DNA project helps identify 2 men who died in Tucson in 2019

Police said one man was found dead in a Tucson homeless encampment without any identification in February 2019.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Two unidentified men who died in Tucson in 2019 have been identified through DNA profiles, authorities said Wednesday.

Tucson police said the non-profit DNA Doe Project identified the men by building family trees from their genetic matches, with the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner confirming the IDs using corroborating data.

Police said one man was found dead in a Tucson homeless encampment without any identification in February 2019.

Genetic genealogy built from a blood sample and a DNA profile recently determined the man was 61-year-old Tommy Gayle Pool Jr. from Virginia, police said.

The other man died in July 2019 after being found unresponsive in the parking lot of a Tucson shopping center without any identification.

Police said he was recently identified as 64-year-old James “Mark” Chaparro, whose was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Authorities said Chaparro's family believed he was living in China so they never filed a missing person report.

The California-based DNA Doe Project said it partners with law enforcement to solve cases of unidentified persons and many cases are fully funded by donors.

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