LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – New forensic technology helped provide answers to the family of a man reported missing in 1982. Lincoln County detectives recently identified the victim as Jack Langeneckert, nearly 40 years after his murder.
Skeletal remains were found in a farm building in Lincoln County in 1984. Investigators ran down every lead but weren’t able to identify the well-dressed, six-foot-tall man who had been shot in the back of the head.
“The technology available at the time didn’t allow us to identify him, and it had been two years,” said Capt. David Hill for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. “So he was severely decomposed at the time. Information went out, but we were never able to identify him.”
Detectives began working with Southeast Missouri State University and Othram, which is a private forensic company. They said that’s when they began seeing progress in the cold case.
“We were able to get a DNA family match. Cold case detectives were able to go and interview those family members,” Hill said. “Once they interviewed those family members, they were able to get DNA samples from them. They were submitted back to the lab. They did a comparison and confirmed his identity.”
Langeneckert’s family told investigators he went missing in 1982, two years before his body was found.
“Jack was from Florissant. When he went missing, this is where he was,” Hill said. “His vehicle was located at the airport here about a week after he was first reported missing.”
Detectives are already seeing new leads as they search for answers about Langeneckert’s murder.
“Detectives have to try to recreate somebody’s life. Who did they hang out with, where did they hang out,” Hill said. “Where did they work, who were their co-workers. We start looking at financials. Are the banks even still around that they were involved in at the time. So it’s very, very complicated.”
If anyone has information about this case, contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 636-528-8546.