New evidence has helped law enforcement identify the remains of a man from a 1970 cold case death investigation in San Bernardino, officials announced on Thursday.  

The discovery of the skeletal remains, found near Little Sandy Creek, north of San Bernardino, dates back to Nov. 15, 1970, according to a news release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The charred remains, burned during a brushfire, were found by a hiker.  

An autopsy at the time found no evidence of foul play or injury to the skeletal remains but did rule that the remains were burned post-mortem and that the fire was not associated with the cause of death.  

“Due to the lack of identity of the skeletal remains, and no other investigative leads, the case went cold,” officials said.  

However, in Nov. 2022, authorities sent a bone fragment from the remains to Othram Inc., a forensics laboratory in Texas that specializes in genome sequencing and human identification. Two months later, Othram reported a possible DNA match to two relatives of the deceased man.

One of the relatives, who has not been identified, provided authorities with a voluntary sample of his DNA for comparison.  

In late March, the skeletal remains were identified as James Hollowell Harvey, who was born in Jan. 1913. Harvey’s family was contacted and notified of the discovery, officials said.  

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact Detective Edward Hernandez with the Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail at 909-890-4904. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME or online at WeTip