Human remains found near Lake Tahoe identified as Reno man
July 25, 2015
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. — More than a year after human remains were found by a member of an inmate work crew near Spooner Summit, the victim was identified as Reno resident Ryan Wallace Osburn, 32.
Osburn was killed by a single self-inflicted gunshot, Douglas County Sheriff's Office Undersheriff Paul Howell said Thursday.
Prior to residing in Reno, Osburn was from Ocala, Fla. He listed his occupation as a professional gambler, Howell said.
The remains were found on June 23, 2014, about 300 yards north of Highway 50 near the top of Spooner Summit, between the Tahoe Rim Trail and Kings Canyon Road in a remote wooded area.
"Investigators recovered the remains of Osburn, personal property, a handgun, projectile and shell," Howell said. "The remains had been subjected to heavy animal predation which required the identification of the remains by DNA analysis and comparison to family members."
While investigators had a good idea who the man was, they needed to get confirmation through DNA testing.
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"The University of North Texas is the only lab in the Western U.S. that conducts these DNA extractions and comparisons," Howell said. "These types of test take a while, but given the fact this is not an open murder case it has a lower priority than others."