GANGES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan State Police have identified the remains of a body found in 2014 through DNA analysis.

In August 2014, members of the MSP Wayland Post were sent to Ganges Township after receiving reports that partial human remains — a bone containing three teeth — were found by a jogger on the beach along Lake Michigan.

“It was well-weathered from prolonged exposure to water and the elements,” MSP said in a press release.

These remains were collected and sent to the Western Michigan University Pathology Department for DNA testing. When that was unsuccessful, MSP said the remains were classified as unidentified.

After working with the DNA Doe Project on a previous case in mid-2019, MSP contacted the nonprofit to try to identify the remains. DNA Doe Project collected DNA samples and sent them to the University of North Texas for additional testing.

This testing along with additional research done by members of the DNA Doe Project showed that the remains found in 2014 likely belonged to 59-year-old Ronald Wayne Jager. The DNA matched multiple relatives but no immediate family members, MSP said.

Jager went fishing on Aug. 1, 2000, and was reported missing the following day. The Coast Guard began searching for him off of White Lake Michigan with no luck.

On Aug. 4, 2000, Jager’s boat was found beached in Milwaukee Harbor, 70 miles away from where he was seen on Aug. 1, 2000, with its electric kicker motor still engaged and two down riggers trailing 200-feet of line. All four life jackets that he normally carried with him were still on the boat.

The DNA also matched another set of partial remains that were recovered in Oceana County in 2014, MSP said.

One of Jager’s daughters told News 8 that the family is “thankful to finally have some answers” in the 22-year-old missing person case.

“The success of this project and many others like it rests heavily on the participation and excellent work being done by the DNA Doe Project,” Sgt. Todd Workman said. “On behalf of the MSP and the Jager family, we would like to express our gratitude and thanks for the amazing work they undertake and the service they provide.”

Tracie Boyle, an investigative genetic genealogist with the DNA Doe Project, says the team ran the DNA through publicly available genealogy databases and found distant ancestors.

“We basically built back the trees and then you find out where the groups connect and then you drill down to the potential candidate and that’s what we found with Ronald,” Boyle said.

The team working on the project has helped solve more than 60 cases with another 70 investigations still underway.

“Probably one of the most rewarding things I do is be able to provide answers to families who may have not been able to get them otherwise,” Boyle said. “I’m happy that we’re able to use this technology to finally get those families the answers they have been looking for.”

Western Michigan University’s Pathology Department is working to return the remains to Jager’s family.