Fresno Co. crime lab tech uses metal plate to identify body discovered nearly 7 weeks ago

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Almost seven weeks after a gruesome discovery in a central Fresno canal, Fresno County Coroners have made a break in their case.

"They were not going to settle," says Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. "Getting an answer wasn't good enough for them."

It was November 16 when Fresno police were called to the canal along Mckinley near Millbrook, finding a body so badly decomposed it was unrecognizable.

With no obvious signs of foul play, it was up to the Fresno County coroner to solve two mysteries: a cause of death and identity.

"All he had were some identifiers as far as a name written in cursive on the mans wrist," Botti said. "He went off of his shoes, he had a logo of a local company."

After publicizing those clues, there were no leads until a deputy coroner noticed a metal plate surgically implanted in the man's arm.

The company that created the device narrowed the search pool to just two people, including Khamphanh Xayachit, who was already in the system for previous criminal charges in Fresno County.

The crime scene technician took what she could of a fingerprint and made the match.

"She's one of the best in the industry when it comes to figuring out fingerprints, and she was able to confirm it 100 percent," Botti said.

Investigators say Xayachit was estranged from his family, but they were thankful for the closure as they assumed he'd moved out of state.
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