Remains identified as man from 2012 missing person case


By Juanice Gray,

Remains found in the woods near Goldonna in 2012 have been identified according to Natchitoches Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Steven Clanton. Franklin Lamar Cromer was reported missing Sept. 8, 2012 in Winn Parish. Cromer was last seen leaving his residence. Family stated he was on medication at the time. Cromer had not been seen or heard from since he disappeared. Hunters found a partial human skull near Saline Bayou in the Goldonna area Sept. 30, 2017.

A story pertaining to the find was published in the Natchitoches Times Oct. 5, 2017 (photo). That story stated search and rescue teams looked for four hours for additional remains, however non were found. The skull was located in an area that often floods. Clanton stated a vehicle belonging Cromer was found in that general vicinity several years prior to the discovery.

The skull was sent to the LSU FACES Lab in Baton Rouge Oct. 2, 2017, to perform a DNA sample to assist in determining approximate age and demographics. Clanton said the skull was then sent to forensic anthropologists at the University of North Texas (UNT) Center for Human Identification.

“We got a letter from UNT in July 2018 stating they had developed samples and were entering them in the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) and CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) databases,” Clanton said. “The samples were being compared to a DNA sample provided by Cromer’s son, Franklin Jr.”

Clanton said the NP Coroner’s Office was notified Feb. 7 that DNA results were consistent with Cromer.

Clanton said the DNA process took over a year, which is “…unfortunately not uncommon. We just don’t have the technology here for faster results,” Clanton said. “That is why we try to use other identifiers, like tattoos, for identification which was not an option in this particular case. DNA takes months at the very least.”

“Nothing is suspicious with this case,” Clanton said. “The remains will be released to the family. At least they will have some closure.”