CHADRON, Neb. | Authorities have identified a body found in the Nebraska Panhandle last year as that of a South Dakota man.

The Nebraska State Patrol and Dawes County authorities are still investigating the death of 35-year-old Michael Munoz, of Rapid City, S.D. His body was found about 16 miles north of Chadron on July 16, 2012. His mother last heard from him on March 29, 2009, and he was reported missing later in the year.

Investigators had difficulty finding relatives so his identity could be verified through genetic testing. Authorities say his mother had moved away from South Dakota and eventually was found in Glacier County, Mont. Another DNA sample was obtained from a sister of Munoz in Window Rock, Ariz.

The cause of Munoz's death hasn't been released.

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