The committee on missing persons (CMP) said Saturday it had recently found out that the remains returned to a family in 2009 belonged to the wrong person, as it announced a review of other, similar cases.
In a written statement, the CMP said tests conducted on a set of remains exhumed in 2015 indicated “that they belonged to a person who had already been identified and returned to relatives in 2009”.
This finding prompted a review of the case by the CMP with the support of Bode Cellmark Forensics to verify the DNA analysis which had been carried out by the Cyprus Institute for Neurology and Genetics (Cing) in 2009.
“This review has established that the conclusions provided by Cing in 2009 were incorrect, resulting in the misidentification of the remains,” the CMP said.
The committee said it has informed the family of the missing person in question.
“The CMP members have expressed their sympathy to the family and are making arrangements to return the correctly identified remains to them.”
The CMP assured the families of missing persons that it was committed to ensuring the highest scientific standards were upheld at every stage of its operations.
“In this regard, a review of other relevant cases is currently underway,” it said.
The Cing issued an apology on Saturday, stressing that identifying small pieces of bone that had been exposed to the environment for over 40 years was a continuous challenge.
In 2009, the institute said, it had conducted tests on a very small bone sample with corrupted genetic material, located together with other small bones at Neo Horio Kithreas.
Cing said bones found much later and tested recently showed that the initial match was wrong.
It said the family of the missing person was immediately notified of the mistake.