MARION — A Galion man has been identified as the victim in a 32-year old homicide case in Marion County.
Marion County Sheriff Matt Bayles announced Tuesday that John C. Kraicinski was identified as the victim of the 1989 cold case through means of genetic genealogy. Kraicinski was 33 years old at the time of his disappearance in 1989. His body was discovered July 19, 1989, in Flat Run Creek in Marion County.
According to Bayles, Kraicinski was last seen earlier that year at his father’s house on Cherry Street in Galion. He left the house on foot and did not return. The family never heard from him again.
Bayles said that Kraicincki’s death was caused by either a gunshot wound to the neck or by another sharp projectile, possibly an arrow. With no leads in the case at the time, the case went cold and Kraicinski remained unidentified, declared a John Doe.
In 2017, Bayles said, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation utilized updated technology to compile and release a facial reconstruction of the John Doe, but no further progress was made in the case at that time.
In May 2019, Bayles said investigators from the DNA Doe Project used genetic genealogy to help identify the victim in another Marion County cold case, prompting the sheriff’s office to use the technology to try to identify the victim of the 1989 homicide. A potential identity was provided to the sheriff’s office in October 2020 and a positive match was confirmed by investigators from the FBI and Ohio BCI laboratories, Bayles said.
No missing persons report was ever filed when Kraicinski disappeared in 1989.
Kraicinski’s siblings, a brother and a sister, attended the press conference on Tuesday, but declined to speak to media members present at the time. Instead, they issued a statement that Bayles read to the press.
The statement reads: “On behalf of John’s family, we’d like to thank the staff of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for their continuous efforts in discovering the identity of our brother and uncle, John Kraicinski. We would also like to thank the DNA Doe Project for their tireless work in advocating for those with no name and no voice. Without their endeavors, we, along with many other families, would never have located our loved one. We are sure that there are many other individuals over the years who have relentlessly supported, assisted, and pursued John’s identification and we want them to know how grateful we are for their efforts as well.
“As the department moves into the next phase of the investigation, we ask that anyone with information please come forward in order to bring justice to John and closure to our family. Our family members remain hopeful that even though after all these years, the truth will be revealed.”
Bayles said the homicide investigation into Kraicinski’s death remains open and active. Anyone who has information about the case is asked to contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 740-387-8477.