Arkansas man identified from remains found sunk in Kentucky lake almost 25 years ago

A photo of Roger Dale Parham taken in 1997 as provided by the FBI. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Authorities in Kentucky have identified human remains found wrapped in heavy chains and sunk to the bottom of a lake more than two decades ago.

The identity of the man had remained a mystery since the discovery of his remains in Lake Barkley by two fishermen in 1999, Kentucky State Police said in a media release. The body had been wrapped in tire chains and anchored with a hydraulic jack.

Efforts to identify the man were unsuccessful until state police began seeking help from a private forensic lab earlier this year. The company, Othram Inc., specializes in cold cases and performed genealogy DNA testing on the remains.

With the testing, they were able to link a relative to the remains, which led to the identity of the man, Roger Dale Parham.

Parham was awaiting trial on criminal charges in Fort Smith, Arkansas, at the time of his disappearance in 1999, state police said. He vanished in March of that year and was thought to have left the area to escape prosecution. State police said the FBI also got involved in the search for Parham.

An initial effort to identify the body with DNA testing was unsuccessful in 2016. That year the body was exhumed and experts used DNA technology, dental examinations and other advanced forensic testing, state police said.

The death is being investigated as a homicide.