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Chico State anthropology team helps identify bones of missing man since 1996

Chico State's anthropology team helped solve the case of a body found at Folsom Lake.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 5:07 PM

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. - Chico State's anthropology team helped solve the case of a body found at Folsom Lake.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said a family was walking along the Folsom Lake waterfront and found bones unveiled by drought lowering the lake levels in November 2015.

Chico State's anthropology team collected the remains with the Sacramento Coroner's help. Their evaluation of the remains provided a general description of the person, a white adult man, as well as noted dental work which could assist in the identification, according to deputies.

This was then reviewed by a forensic odontologist who found that the dental work on the teeth was not likely done in the United States.

They identified the person as a Russian national citizen, Oleg Zheleznikov, who went missing in 1996 while swimming in Folsom Lake.

"On June 21, 1996, EDSO had been called by California State Parks to search for 29-year-old Oleg Zheleznikov, a Russian National Citizen," according to El Dorado County Sheriff's Office. "Oleg, along with two other Russian National Citizens, a translator, and the boat’s captain had gone sailing on Folsom Lake. Oleg jumped into the water to swim while the sails were still up. Once the boat was able to turn around and get to the area where Oleg jumped in, he had disappeared beneath the surface."

Deputies said with a DNA sample, the only way to positively identify the remains was to locate Oleg’s daughter and compare her DNA to his.

The El Dorado Sheriff and FBI's Sacramento Division helped fly his daughter to the U.S. from Russia to recover his remains.

Oleg's daughter, Yulia spent several days in El Dorado County site seeing and experiencing what California has to offer.

On Wednesday Oct. 9, Yulia flew back to Russia, returning Oleg to his home and his family.

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