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Remains found in Maryland identified as man missing for 2 years, family wants answers

The family of Casino Gaskins says that police failed to aggressively investigate. Authorities are responding with their timeline of the search.

CLINTON, Md. — A two-year missing person mystery has been solved after human remains found in a Prince George's County forest months ago have been identified.

The family of Casino Gaskins, who was 23 when he went missing, said police notified them Monday that remains found in Clinton, Maryland in December of 2021 are his. But the Gaskins family is raising questions about the way authorities in Prince George’s County handled the case. They say investigators believed the case to be a death by suicide. 

"I don’t think they took this case seriously at all," Gaskins' sister, Demetria Fultz, said. "It wasn’t a high-priority case. There's a family hurting behind this, and we want answers.”

Fultz and other family members allege that police did not notify them when hunters found remains and clothing matching the description of Gaskins' more than eight months ago and called police investigation into his disappearance in July of 2020 "negligent." Fultz said the family staged their own searches and posted flyers. 

According to a statement from Prince George’s County Police, the family first reported Gaskins missing six days after he “voluntarily left home on July 16, 2020.” His family said Gaskins left home to go look for work on the day he disappeared. 

Police say over the course of their investigation a detective conducted multiple interviews, entered the case into a national database and checked area hospitals and medical examiners. They searched 233 acres of woods south of where Gaskins went missing, with search dogs, in January of 2020, but found nothing.

Eleven months later, police said hunters found human remains in the woods near the fifth precinct station of the Prince George's County Police. However, it took eight more months for Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine who the remains were, according to the police statement.

Police say the cause of death was hanging and there were no signs of foul play or trauma.

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