FAIRHAVEN (WBSM) — Human remains found in Fairhaven nearly four decades ago were recently identified as Keith Olson from Rhode Island. Authorities are continuing investigations on the death and connecting a suspect.

On April 8, 1985, a driver traveling westbound on Interstate 195 stopped in the breakdown lane in Fairhaven, just beyond the Mattapoisett town line. The driver saw a human skeleton in the brush about 45 feet from the roadway and immediately notified police.

After a thorough search of the area, the skeletal remains of an unidentified person were recovered. Shoes manufactured in 1981 were also found at the scene by investigators. Investigators, however, did not find any information in the area related to the identity of the deceased.

The skeletal remains were sent to the FBI lab in Washington, D.C., for further examination. The examination revealed that the skeletal remains were that of a Caucasian male, approximately five-foot-nine, who had been killed within a few years before his remains were discovered. According to a forensic analysis of the skeleton, it showed evidence of inflicted trauma, with the cause of death determined to be a homicide.

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Dental records comparing and identifying the individual with other missing persons cases were unsuccessful, along with requesting assistance from the public to provide identification.

In hopes of generating a lead, investigators decided to make a facial reconstruction of the skull before the man's death by recreating his appearance, yet it still failed to provide identification for the next 38 years.

To further identify the remains, the Bristol District Attorney's Office partnered with the Massachusetts State Police Unresolved Unit and the FBI's Investigative Genetic Genealogy Team by sending the remains to a private laboratory located in Texas.

Courtesy of the Bristol County District Attorney's Office
Courtesy of the Bristol County District Attorney's Office

A genetic profile was created, which helped investigators link the individual to a family tree and identify the recovered remains as Keith Olson of Cranston, Rhode Island.

Olson was born and raised in Rhode Island. He had been reported missing from Cranston when he was last seen on April 15, 1981.

At the time of his disappearance, Olson was 27 years old.

Before his disappearance, authorities say Olson had briefly been dating a woman who previously dated North Providence resident John Broccoli, which caused friction between the two.

A witness to Olson's disappearance described that two men escorted Olson from his Cranston apartment on April 15, 1981. The witness stated that Broccoli had made "cryptic statements" to the woman dating Olson, suggesting his possible involvement in the case.

Courtesy of the Bristol County District Attorney's Office
Courtesy of the Bristol County District Attorney's Office

Broccoli, also known as Michael Corleone, died in 2019 at 63, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in providing any information related to the disappearance and murder of Keith Olson. Police have strong reason to believe that the crime was committed by at least two people and believe that there are individuals who could provide helpful information to solve this crime.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact Massachusetts State Police Det. Lt. AnnMarie Robertson at (855) MA-SOLVE/(855)-627-6583.

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