DNA solves 26-year-old mystery, identifies Winnipeg man killed by train in Regina in 1995

Thanks to some advanced DNA technology, the Saskatchewan Coroners Service has identified the man who was hit by a train in Regina more than 26 years ago.

Michael Kirov, of Winnipeg, was killed at the railroad crossing at Courtney Street and 13th Avenue on July 28, 1995.

Authorities were originally unable to identify him, and Kirov remained a John Doe until the recent discovery.

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His identity was confirmed in early August through the services of U.S.-based company Othram, hired by the province to use genealogic DNA research in its ongoing investigation.

“Over the past 26 years, the coroner’s service in conjunction with the Regina Police Service exhausted all avenues to find the identity of this unknown man,” said Clive Weighill, Saskatchewan’s chief coroner.

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“With persistent investigation and new technologies, we can now provide closure for his family.”

It’s the closure the family has been waiting for.

“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all involved and we pray everyone finds peace and closure knowing that Michael was very much loved and has been reunited with his family,” the family wrote in a statement.

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The investigation was completed by the province’s coroner’s service in collaboration with the Regina Police Service.

“Dates on a calendar change, but our determination does not,” said Evan Bray, RPS chief.

“For years, the Regina Police Service and Saskatchewan Coroners Service have worked collaboratively to learn this young man’s identity and bring him ‘home’ to his family.

“We would not be here today without a combination of skill, direction, persistence and hope. And hope is a message to all families seeking answers: we won’t give up.”

More to come.

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