Teenager found dead 44 years ago had run away from home – NBC Los Angeles

A teenager found dead on a Southern California street 44 years ago has been identified as a runaway who was never reported missing, police said.

The body was discovered in a residential Long Beach neighborhood on June 3, 1978. Investigators were unable to identify the teen and nicknamed him “John Doe 1978,” the Long Beach Police Department said in a statement Wednesday.

The murder case finally went cold.

Police said recent advances in DNA technology allowed authorities to finally identify the teen as Kenneth Nevada Williams, who was 15 when he ran away from his home in La Puente, east of Los Angeles, in 1978.

Williams was never reported missing. Homicide detectives were able to successfully locate and contact Williams’ family members and subsequently confirm his identity,” police said in a statement.

No cause of death was given.

Donald Alway, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said his agency and police have resumed the investigation into the teen’s death.

“Justice delayed does not have to be justice denied in this case. Kenneth Nevada Williams is now a known victim and identifying his killer is the next step in solving this case,” Alway said in a statement.

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