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Coroner hopes DNA database will eventually identify mystery human bone found at Dolphin Sands

Picture of Pulse Tasmania
Humerus x-ray. Image / Stock MattL

A human bone found on Tasmania’s East Coast over 20 years ago remains unidentified, despite efforts by authorities to match it to missing persons, a coroner has said.

The upper arm bone, a humerus, was discovered at Dolphin Sands in June 2000.


Initial tests revealed it belonged to a male aged between 50 and 60 years old, standing around 176cm tall at the time of his death.

However, further investigations failed to determine the man’s identity or how he died.

Coroner Simon Cooper said the bone’s DNA profile was compared to the Tasmanian database last year, but no match was found.

Coroner Simon Cooper. Image / Pool (ABC)

“That profiling did however exclude as a possibility that the humerus was of aboriginal ancestry,” he said.

“In addition, the humerus was examined as part of the National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons without result.”

“As more DNA profiles are added to the database, it is my hope that one day the humerus will be identified.”


It is not known how long the bone had been at the beach location for.

“I do not consider that there is any further investigation that can be reasonably carried out to attempt to establish the identity of the deceased male to whom the humerus belonged,” Cooper said.

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