Utah Family IDs Missing Man From SLED Reconstruction
Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- After three years of searching for their missing brother, a Utah family has finally found some answers in the Midlands.
The Swindler family found a facial reconstruction on SLED's website that led them to confirmation that their brother was found dead at the Lake Murray spillway in October 2010.
"He had a zest for life that you almost never see," said Ashley Swindler, describing Daniel Swindler.
She says he left of his own free will which made the search difficult.
"There was really nothing suspicious about him just taking off and leaving, so our hands were pretty tied," she said.
The family said it was not unusual for Daniel to head out on his own, but they became concerned when he never returned; especially considering his history or schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.
"We really didn't know if he was just out exploring someplace or if he was in a mental hospital, a prison, another country," Joe Swindler.
Still the family continued to search, and a listing of facial reconstructions of unidentified people on SLED's website brought them closer to an answer.
Deborah Goff, a forensic artist with SLED, uses known information from the investigation and sketches to create a 3-D reconstruction of a person that family and friends might recognize.
"They give us information as to the sex, the race, the approximate age, and by working with an anthropologist they help me to predict or come to an approximation of what the person may have looked like in life," said Goff.
That reconstruction and some personal items listed on the page caught the attention of the Swindler family.
"He was wearing the exact same belt and had the same backpack with him," said Joe Swindler.
The family contacted the Lexington County Sheriff's Office and the Coroner's office used dental records to positively identify Daniel Swindler, giving the family some closure and allowing them to grieve.
"We'd like to kind of go over there and retrace his steps kind of and maybe talk to some of the people in the area and see if anyone ever remembered seeing him there," said Joe Swindler.
The Swindler family says it has begun planning services for Daniel sometime in October.
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