On Friday, January 1st this year, the remains of a child were discovered along the seashore in Syre on Karmøy. A complete DNA-profile was obtained after an autopsy, and the National Identification Group in the Criminal Police Center has assisted the South-West Police Department in obtaining a DNA-match.
- It is now positive that the boy who was found is Artin Irannezhad. He is of Iranian origin and disappeared during a shipwreck in the English Channel off the coast of France on October 27, last year, says head of the investigation at the sheriff's office on Karmøy, Camilla Tjelle Waage.
Artin was 18 months old when he disappeared. Both parents died, as well as Artin's two older siblings who were found dead after the shipwreck. The rest of the family have been notified.
Compared DNA with a relative in Norway
Since the remains were found, the police have been clear that it may take time for a positive ID to be available. Although there is a great understanding that relatives are waiting for answers, it is important to achieve a good and accurate process.
- While waiting for results from French authorities, Norwegian police have made parallel investigations. We were aware early on that the missing boy had a relative in Norway, but it was important to determine whether the person had kinship that is close enough that it could provide a basis for DNA match. When that was ascertained, we asked relatives to give DNA to the police. This is a painstaking process, but we are pleased that we have now received confirmation that it is the missing boy who was found on Karmøy. This story is tragic, but at least it's good to be able to give the relatives an answer, emphasises Camilla Tjelle Waage.
The DNA-match was ready last week, and the family has been notified.
Test results confirmed theory
The police had an early hypothesis that it was precisely Artin that had been found on Karmøy, especially because there were pictures of the boy in the same winter suit as the one on the remains.
- We received several tips about this boy, and the picture of him naturally strengthened our theory. Nevertheless, it was important for us not to conclude too soon. The police have had an ongoing dialogue with the French authorities. We have always respected ongoing processes across national borders, but when it turned out that the boy's relative in Norway had a kinship that was close enough, we chose to make an attempt to match that person's DNA with that of the boy.
- It was not given that we would be able to obtain positive ID, but fortunately skilled professionals in the department of forensic sciences at Oslo University Hospital have managed to retrieve matching DNA profiles," says Camilla Tjelle Waage.