Sheriff's Office: Human remains found off Big Springs Road now identified

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Skeletal remains have been identified as a Rutherford County man who was reported missing in September, said Sheriff Robert Arnold.

The remains of Dale Gaines, 58, of Bristol Court were found Feb. 2 on Big Springs Road.

Family members reported Gaines missing Sept. 15. He was last seen riding his bicycle in Murfreesboro. Gaines was undergoing treatment for cancer. He played basketball and ran track for Riverdale High School in the mid-1970s.

Sheriff Arnold said he hopes the identification will ease Gaines’ family.

“We extend our sympathy to Mr. Gaines’ family,” Sheriff Arnold said. “We hope the identification will help answer their concerns and bring them a sense of closure.”

Detective Capt. David Hailey said the state medical examiner identified Gaines through DNA. The cause of death remains unknown but foul play is not suspected at this time.

During a January press conference, Gaines’ brothers Jonah and Guster asked for citizens to give information about their brother’s location.

Capt. Hailey said Detective Phil Brooks actively investigated Gaines’ disappearance and kept in touch with the family.

“He takes a special interest in missing person’s cases,” Capt. Hailey said.

Detective Maj. Bill Sharp thanked forensic pathologist Dr. Hugh Berryman of MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education and his graduate students for helping locate Gaines’ remains.

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