NORWALK, Conn. – A man whose naked body was found on an island off Connecticut nearly 23 years ago was finally identified this week through a new search of an updated national fingerprint database.
But the man, Landberto Quintero, remains a mystery to authorities.
Norwalk police on Friday released Quintero's name and hoped the move would prompt relatives to come forward. Authorities haven't been able to identify any of his family members.
"We don't really know much about him," Lt. Art Weisgerber said. "He had no known address. He was not in any missing person database, so he was never reported missing to any agencies."
Quintero was 24 years old and was born in Mexico, according to records of a 1993 arrest for trespassing in Norwalk. Those records included the fingerprints that ended up in a national database run by the FBI. Weisgerber believes Quintero may have been homeless.
Quintero's body was discovered on city-owned Shea Island in Long Island Sound on April 18, 1996. There were no obvious signs of trauma, police said.
The chief medical examiner's office concluded he had been dead for eight to 10 months but was not able to determine the cause or manner of death.
Previous searches of the national fingerprint database and a 2016 DNA test were unsuccessful. But after the database was updated, Weisgerber recently asked the state crime lab to re-examine the fingerprints from the body. A crime lab expert called him Thursday to say a positive identification had been made.
All that is known about Quintero is that he likely lived in the Norwalk area for at least three years, judging from his 1993 arrest and his body being discovered in 1996.
The autopsy showed he was about 5-foot-2 and 110 pounds. In his 1993 booking photo, Quintero sports what appears to be a "mullet" hairstyle — short in the front and long in the back.
This story has been corrected to show that the body of Landberto Quintero was found nearly 23 years ago, not 26 years ago.