Body Found Floating in Washington River in 2022 Identified as Missing 34-Year-Old Man from Georgia

The remains belonged to 34-year-old man Pierre Pearson, whose body was found by two fishermen in the Columbia River, according to police

<p>Cowlitz County Sheriff

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Pierre Pearson.

Authorities in Washington say a body found in a local river in 2022 has been identified as a missing 34-year-old man.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office announced in a news release on Wednesday, May 29, that the remains found in the Columbia River belong to Pierre Pearson, originally of Georgia.

Two fishermen found the remains near Martin’s Bar in Woodland on June 2, 2022, Troy Brightbill, Chief Criminal Deputy of the CCSO, said in the release.

Pearson was believed to have been without a permanent home in Portland, Oregon, before his death, authorities said. He was last in contact with family in April 2021, more than a year before his body was found in the river.

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It remains unclear at this time when and how Pearson died. Authorities said he last contacted his family in April 2021.

The Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office, which examined the body, said the remains “showed no signs of trauma,” according to Brightbill.

However, the coroner’s office was unable to conduct facial identification or collect fingerprints “due to the level of decomposition” the body had undergone. There was no identification found with the body, either.

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Detectives began working with Othram, a private laboratory in Texas, in December 2022 to identify the man using advanced forensic DNA testing, Brightbill said.

The victim's dental records were later obtained after Pearson's stepmother and father were contacted about the case.

A forensic odontologist then used the records to determine that the remains belonged to Pearson.

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“There is no indication that Pearson died as a result of a crime,” Brightbill said. "The investigation will be closed."

The Coroner’s Office will now work with his family “to turn over Pearson’s remains.”

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