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Missing teen identified, 43 years later

GULFPORT, Miss.- The identity of a missing Mississippi teen has been confirmed nearly 43 years after his disappearance.  

Joseph Spears escaped from a youth detention center on July 31, 1973.  Shortly after, he went missing and there were no clear signs of his whereabouts.

Police said his mother, Mary Raskin, identified her sons body through photographs. Cold Case investigators believed that the teen was killed in a traffic accident in Texas City, Texas in 1973,the same year he escaped. That theory was confirmed with the identification of his body.

Due to the length time between the incident and the potential identification police were not able to obtain a DNA sample to confirm. However, investigators provided facts and evidence to the Texas officials that linked the cases.

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