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Remains ID’d of Holloman airman who vanished in Montana in 1974

HELENA, Mont. — U.S. Air Force investigators have identified the remains of a New Mexico-based airman who vanished in the mountains of Montana 43 years ago.

Relatives of Rudy Redd Victor in Littleton, Colorado, recently received notification from the Air Force that investigators believed Victor died in June 1974, not long after leaping from a car between Helena and Great Falls during a fight with his girlfriend, the Independent Record ( reported Thursday.

A cattle inspector found the skull on a hillside near Wolf Creek in 1982 and kept it for two years before turning it in to the Lewis and Clark County coroner. Investigators found more remains and saw a wire noose hanging from a nearby tree.

Tests at the time were determined only that the skull belonged to a man in his 20s who was likely Native American. The remains were cataloged and shelved.

Last year, an Air Force cold case unit reviewed the file and dental records concluded the skull belonged to Victor, who was 20 and stationed at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo at the time of his disappearance.

His death certificate lists the cause of death as undetermined.


This story has been corrected to show that dental records, not DNA, were used to identify the remains.


Information from: Independent Record,