Human remains found in Mentone confirmed to be those of missing 4-year-old boy


Human remains discovered in Mentone more than 30 years ago were determined to be those of a missing 4-year-old boy, authorities announced Thursday.

On October 27, 1991, a quail hunter in a rural area near Florida Street and Greenspot Road located a human skull, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.

A search of the area also turned up a torn plastic trash bag that smelled of decomposition and contained clothing that appeared to belong to a child.

An autopsy determined the skull was that of a child between 4 and 8 years old but the remains could not be identified at the time and the case went cold.

Decades later, the remains were sent to a DNA sequencing laboratory, and in February of this year, tests revealed that genetic relatives were alive in Houston, Texas.

The relatives were contacted and gave consent for further DNA testing, which identified Patricia Clark as the boy’s mother, the news release stated.

Clark had reported her child, identified as Derrick Burton, missing to the San Bernardino Police Department in 1991 but the boy was never located.

Investigators have not said how Burton died.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Detail, Cold Case Team at 909-890-4904. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact We-Tip at 800-78CRIME or


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