Victim Found Near Tahoe Casinos Identified

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Six years after human remains were found in the Stateline casino area, the victim has been identified with the help of DNA samples.

The remains were those of Arturo Quirarte, 25, of Mexico, said Douglas County sheriff's investigator Rick Brown.

The cause of death remains a mystery, but Brown suspects it was a suicide. A stolen .38-caliber revolver was found near the body.

Because Quirarte had an outstanding arrest warrant from California, he probably was afraid of being deported to Mexico and going to prison there, Brown said.

"Faced with all that, it's probable that he took his own life,"he said.

Quirarte had lived in the South Lake Tahoe, Calif., area since at least 1997.

A sheriff's investigation began after a survey crew found partial skeletal remains in August 1997 near Caesars Tahoe.

But with no identity or cause of death to go on, detectives soon ran out of leads and dropped the case.

Then last year, Brown received a phone call from Liticia Quirarte, who said a forensic reconstruction of the victim's face distributed in the news media looked like her brother.

Family members later were able to identify an Oakland Raiders baseball cap, a University of Miami jacket and a silver belt buckle found near the remains.

DNA samples were sent to a crime lab and results received Thursday indicated with a 99.9 percent certainty that the remains were those of Quirarte, Brown said.