“Criminalists at the California Department of Justice helped to identify a man who was reported missing 15 years ago. That has to be a tremendous relief to any family members or loved ones who have wondered, or lived with hurt, for years not knowing what happened to him. While there is more investigation that must be done, this information finally puts family members on a path to closure. And with an identity, investigators can now begin to work on what may have led to his disappearance.” - CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
MENDOCINO COUNTY - On November 13, 2021, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office announced that human remains discovered in May of 2020 have now been identified as missing person David Virgil Neily of Albion. He was 69 when he was reported missing in 2006.
On May 7, 2020 - the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted about what was believed to be human remains in a remote forested area west of in Branscomb. Deputies responded to the location and recovered the partial human remains.
The partial remains were sent to a forensic odontologist for examination and in June 2020, a sample was forwarded to the California Department of Justice DNA laboratory for DNA extraction and analysis.
In August of 2020, the remains were forwarded to the California State University, Chico Human Identification Laboratory for examination and analysis. No evidence of trauma was identified or observed on the recovered remains.
In September of 2021, the Mendocino County Coroner's Office was advised of a successful DNA extraction from the provided sample.
In October of 2021, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division was advised of a positive match to an active Mendocino County Sheriff's Office missing persons investigation and identified the partial human remains as missing person David Virgil Neily.
David Neily was reported missing on July 24, 2006. The investigation at the time determined Neily was last seen near the end of March 2006 or beginning of April 2006 in Albion.
Further investigation associated Neily with a property in Westport where his vehicles were located. Westport is located approximately 33 miles north of Albion. The recovered remains were discovered to be about 3 1/2 miles from that general area of the Westport property.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the circumstances of David Neily's disappearance and thanked the following people and agencies for their assistance in identifying Neily:
- James Wood (DDS);
- CSU, Chico Human Remains Laboratory
- CSU,Chico Anthropology Department;
- and the California Department of Justice Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory.