Remains found in Smokies were from Nashville man
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Human remains found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been identified as those of a missing Nashville man.
Park officials announced Thursday that medical investigators have positively identified the remains as belonging to 23-year-old Michael Giovanni Cocchini. He had been staying in Gatlinburg and was last seen by friends at a Sevierville Walmart on March 18.
The National Park Service worked with the Knoxville Regional Forensic Center, the Sevier County Medical Examiner's Office and the Knox County Sheriff Forensic Unit. Official identification came through comparison of dental records. No foul play is suspected.
Rangers conducted exhaustive searches for Cocchini and another missing man last spring.
Smokies spokeswoman Molly Schroer said the disappearance of 24-year-old Derek Leuking of Louisville (LOO'-is-vil) on March 26 is still an open case.
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