January 22, 2017 11:20 pm

Mexican authorities identify 56 sets of human remains in mass grave

In this May 18, 2012 file photo, Mexican soldiers patrol an area of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state in Mexico where clandestine graves were found.

(Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/GettyImages)

Prosecutors said Sunday that 56 sets of human remains have been identified in a jumble of bone fragments found at a burial pit in Mexico‘s northern border state of Nuevo Leon.

State prosecutors said the pit was discovered in February 2016 on a rural hillside in Garcia, near the northern city of Monterrey. But in the year since then investigators have been painstakingly analyzing the fragments and teeth to see how many people were buried there and who they were.

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On Sunday, the prosecutors’ office said 24 sets of remains were identified through DNA testing.

Some of the 24 remains whose DNA matched existing profiles belonged to people who had been reported missing since 2010.

The DNA profiles of 32 other people were found in the bones, but they couldn’t immediately be matched to anyone.

In 2010, the area was dominated by the hyper-violent Zetas cartel, which often burned or dissolved their victims, reducing their bodies to bone fragments.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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