Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office Solves Nearly Decade-Long Cold Case
Medical Examiner and FBI positively identify deceased man from 2008

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. May 10, 2017. The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s special NamUs Initiative, has positively identified a man who died in January 2008 along the Truckee River east of Sparks.

The man was positively identified by fingerprint comparison earlier this week as Terry Frankson, who was 56 years old at the time of his death. The unidentified person poster from 2008 to determine his identity is linked here. Mr. Frankson’s next of kin have been notified and have claimed his remains.

Mr. Frankson’s body was discovered along the banks of the Truckee River just east of Sparks in January 2008. A complete autopsy was performed on Mr. Frankson at the time, and his cause of death was drowning, however the manner of death could not be determined along with his identity. “NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, is an online database that is extremely useful to Medical Examiners and Coroners,” remarks Washoe County Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Laura Knight. “We enter information in the system for individuals who have died and whose identity is unknown. Despite our best efforts, these cases may linger unidentified for years.”

“The FBI’s recent initiative in collaboration with the NamUs program has added additional resources so new hits, or information, are being obtained on old cases despite having run the fingerprints through the system previously,” remarks Dr. Knight. “Medical Examiners and Coroners across the U.S. are obtaining identification on individuals from unidentified cold cases from 10, 20, or more years ago. This allows those cases to finally be closed, and those individuals to finally be laid to rest.”

For more information on the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office, please visit 

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