Detective solves missing person cold case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- An effort by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office to review unsolved cold cases is paying off.

By digging through records and using new technology, Sgt. Kevin Helms was able to solve an 11-year-old missing person case.

Quirino "Chico" Mata III was 27 when he disappeared sometime after Jan. 29, 2001.

His car was found a month later, but Mata remained missing. Three years later, a skull was found in a nearby wooded area.

The Commercial Appeal reports the connection between the cases wasn't found until this month when Helms began taking a fresh look at cold cases.

Now, Helms hopes to answer the next mystery in the case -- how Mata died.

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