When a man called Lyle Stevik was found dead in a Washington hotel room after 9/11, conspiracy theorists went crazy...now we finally know who he is
Authorities have identified the man who committed suicide right after 9/11 attacks giving rise to a number of conspiracy theories on the Internet about his alleged involvement in the attacks and ending an era of impeded investigations.
September 17, 2001, in a motel in Amanda Park, Washington state, a dead body was found, who checked in under the name 'Lyle Stevik'. Sheriff's agents found the man had hanged himself in the closet of his motel room and that he had been using an alias. Later, they would spend 15 years to trace the man's real identity, according to KXRO.
Reddit discussion forums were all talk of conspiracy theories on the lines that the man was involved with the airline hijackers who caused the greatest emergency of the 21st century, reports Mel Magazine. 'Maybe he was of Middle Eastern descent and was involved in the planning and execution of 9/11,' speculated one Internet user. 'Maybe he was meant to martyr himself and felt guilt over letting down his comrades, or he helped plan the event, saw the destruction he helped create and couldn’t handle the guilt.' the post added.
Last week, Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office announced the man was in fact 'Stevik' and they have informed the man's family in California. While the inquisitive minds have exaggerated and extrapolated the man's descent to being 'Middle Eastern' to 'African' and even 'Romanian', DNA analysts found that he was part Hispanic, part Native American.
According to a Daily Mail report, the Sheriff’s Office and the County Coroner’s Office had a major breakthrough in the story when they were contacted by a non-profit DNA Doe Project. This initiative is to identify the Jane and John Does, the unnamed dead ones and give them to their families. This organization offered to fund Stevik's DNA analysis in the hope to find the information about the man's family. The office agreed to the offer and provided the DNA samples to the organization.
They received the samples on March 20; the company relies on the donations for working and around 20 workers have worked for hundreds of hours trying to match Stevik's DNA with a family. "Most of all, our success depended on the countless people who had taken direct-to-consumer DNA tests, and who had uploaded their results to GEDmatch," the organization said in the case report on the website. "They weighed the risks and benefits, and happily, the benefits won out. Lyle Stevik is a proof of that." The group says that its analysis of 'Stevik's' DNA led them to samples given by relatives.
"We can confirm that one of his grandparents did, in fact, come from Rio Arriba, New Mexico, where many of his DNA cousins’ families originated," the group said. "If there is more we can share at some point, we will do so.' Finally, DDP found a possible match with a family that lives in California. Through fingerprints provided by the family to investigators from the sheriff’s office, ‘Stevik’ was positively identified.
The family said that they had believed all this time that ‘Stevik’ was alive but simply chose not to associate with them. He was 25 years old at the time of his death. The family has requested that ‘Stevik’s’ real name not be released. "Cases like these are heartbreaking," Margaret Press, a co-founder of DNA Doe Project. "During those hundreds of hours, there wasn’t one where we didn’t all think of the family he left behind. They are what kept us going."