Decomposed body found in car identified with DNA

Decomposed body found in car identified with DNA

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - The badly decomposed body found in a car in Slidell last weekend has been identified, St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston confirmed Thursday.

Last weekend, Slidell Police and Coroner's Office investigators began investigating after the discovery in a hotel parking lot.

Coroner's Office staff contacted a woman in Colorado who was believed to be the decedent's sister, and when she came to take care of arrangements investigators acquired a DNA sample. Testing her DNA against the decedent's, investigators were able to make a positive match.

The decedent, identified as Gerald Ruland, 72, had been living in his car in the Slidell area but was previously from Mandeville.

Mr. Ruland's cause of death remains under investigation pending toxicology tests, but foul play is not suspected.

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