DNA tests have revealed that human remains found at a Cambodian grave are not those of the son of Hollywood film legend Errol Flynn as had been suspected, a US military official said on Wednesday.
In March, two amateur Western diggers presented a jaw and a femur bone to US officials, unearthed at a site in eastern Kampong Cham Province, saying they believed the parts belonged to war photographer Sean Flynn.
The remains from the site, which some researchers believe is a mass grave for up to a dozen foreign journalists killed by Khmer Rouge fighters during Cambodia’s war in the early 1970s, were sent for forensic analysis in Hawaii.
Officials from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavated the site in April and found more human remains.
However, JPAC spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Perry said on Wednesday that tests showed the remains were not those of Flynn, who disappeared 40 years ago while covering Cambodia’s war.
Perry said there was no match between DNA from the recovered remains and DNA samples they had on file from the Flynn family.
“The remains do not match any known Westerner for whom JPAC has a reference sample,” he said.
Flynn, who worked as actor before covering the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia as a photographer, bore a striking resemblance to his father, who starred in swashbuckling roles in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood.
The 28-year-old’s fate has been a mystery since 1970 when he and fellow journalist Dana Stone were captured by communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas while on assignment in the area, and never heard from again.
Briton Keith Rotheram, one of the team that found the remains, said in March that they based their search on a local villager’s claims to have seen regime soldiers kill a prisoner there matching Flynn’s description in 1971.
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