SENDAI – The Miyagi Prefectural Police have said that a corpse discovered in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been identified as that of a 60-year-old woman from the Miyagi town of Onagawa.
The identification was made with DNA samples from a postage stamp she mailed a decade ago, the police said Friday.
According to the police, the skeletonized body was found on the sea surface near the seawall in Ishinomaki on April 9, 2011. The coastal city was hit by a massive tsunami the previous month following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast.
The woman had sent the letter to a relative in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. The authorities gained access to the letter in March this year and found that the DNA found in the saliva on the stamp matched that of the corpse.
The discovery brought the number of unidentified corpses from the disaster in Miyagi down to nine.
Authorities are calling on citizens to provide whatever materials they have with links to missing people, noting that even items from a decade ago can lead to identifications.