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Cold case reopened after Oklahoma authorities identify deceased victim 32 years after body was found

KINGSTON, Okla. – A cold case has been reopened after Oklahoma authorities identified the deceased victim 32 years after his body was found.

On Feb. 23, 1985, a farmer found a naked, decomposed body by the side of a creek on Cliff Rd., outside of Kingston, Okla.

According to KXII, the body was that of a Hispanic man with “Anita” tattooed on his right arm; however, his identity remained unknown until recently.

“About three months ago they identified Guadelupe Gaona who resided at that time in Grand Prairie, Texas,” Undersheriff Ed Kent told KXII.

Guadelupe Gaona was found shot to death in a creek in S.E. Oklahoma (image via KXII)

Kent said medical examiners were opening cold cases when they found the match through DNA comparison.

Now, 32 years later, the Marshall County Sheriff’s office is reopening the case.

“We would just like to get a resolution and find out what happened and who did what to Guadelupe,” Kent said.

The North American Missing Persons Network states Gaona was last seen in Grand Prairie in November 1984.

However, according to KXII, he was not reported missing until two years later because his family believed he was in the witness protection program, but the U.S. Marshals have no evidence proving that.

Gaona, who died from a gunshot wound to the head, is believed to have been killed in Arlington, Texas and brought to Kingston, Okla.

“If you’re not from around here, you’re not going to know where Cliff Road and that creek is, which makes me think there was some local involvement,” Kent told the local news station.

When Gaona’s body was first found, authorities believed brothers Jimmy and Jackie Herndon may have been involved.

According to KXII, the brothers were known to be involved in drugs, leading investigators to believe Gaona’s death may have been drug-related.

But Kent told the local news station they are unable to find the original documents from the case and both of the Herndons have since died.

Now, authorities are asking for the public’s help.

If you have any information about the Herndons or Gaona’s death, please call the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.

“Hopefully there’s some citizens out here that might have been aware of what the drug trafficking issues were at that time and how it might have been that Guadelupe ended up in a creek in Marshall County,” Kent said.