A man found burned in an orchard in 2006 in Fresno County has been identified through DNA as a Bay Area resident who went missing, officials with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
Livermore resident Jack Du Pee Jr., 24, went missing in May 2006, and his body was found in an orchard near Interstate Highway 5 and Shields Avenue, west of Firebaugh.
"You wonder every minute of every day, especially not knowing," said the victim's father, Jack Du Pee Sr.
Du Pee Sr. has spent the last 10 years aching for his son.
"He had a good spirit, helped his younger brother and sister," Du Pee Sr. said. "(He) was over protective, loved his mother, loved his father."
Du Pee Jr. was not identified until recently when a homicide sergeant with the Sheriff's Office was going through cold cases last year and found a John Doe.
Because the person had not been identified, the case caught the attention of the sergeant, Fresno County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Botti said.
DNA was taken from Du Pee Jr. when he was found dead, and his parents submitted theirs sometime after he went missing.
But it appears that Du Pee Jr.'s original DNA was kicked out of the system because no match was found.
Botti could not say when the victim's parents submitted their DNA, but when the sergeant learned that the coroner still had a thighbone of Du Pee Jr., a match was found.
Du Pee Jr. also lived in South San Francisco, Richmond and San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. His family and investigators are now hoping somone will tell them who is responsible for the killing.
"We know we will never have 100 percent closure, but at least we're heading in the right direction," Du Pee Sr. said.
Anyone who knew Du Pee Jr. is being asked to call Detective Mark Chapman at 559-600-8209 or Detective Jose Diaz at 559-600-8206.
People who want to remain anonymous can call Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP (7867).