The California Department of Justice's Bureau of Forensic Services informed the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office that the remains found on April 16 matched the DNA of Romeo Glaze, 26, according to Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson.
Glaze’s sisters Cindy Kahao and Kristina Swain, who currently reside in Hawaii, reported Glaze missing to the sheriff’s office on March 26.
“Part of us knew that it was him, but we were hoping and praying that it wasn’t,” Kahao said. “I hope that they find whoever did it, and I hope that they are brought to justice.”
Glaze’s sisters say he was homeless at the time he went missing, but they heard that he was staying with Michael Loftin Jr. in Klamath.
“A lot of people contacted my sister and I saying that Michel Loftin was going around town bragging that he had shot him in the head,” Kahao said. “That is what prompted us to file the missing persons report.”
Wilson said that the cause of death appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Wilson couldn’t comment further on the suspects or the investigation because it is still ongoing.
Loftin is currently in Del Norte County Jail on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from unrelated incidents when a man was shot on June 3 and a teenager was stabbed with an eel hook on May 6.
Although Wilson couldn’t release any information regarding the suspects, he said the DNA evidence from the state Department of Justice is a significant step forward in the case.
“We have suspects in mind, and we have been actively working the investigation all along,” Wilson said. “Now that we have this confirmation, we have been able to confirm that we have a known homicide victim and known suspects. It is just a matter of putting it together. Part of that is going to be dependent on the forensic evidence from the Department of Justice.”
Wilson said the sheriff’s office has collected evidence from what they believe to be the crime scene, as well as additional evidence from the scene where the body was found near the Klamath River down a steep bank off Highway 169, halfway from Klamath to Klamath Glen.
“They will process the rest of the evidence that we have found to see if we can come up with additional confirmation of DNA evidence of the suspects at the crime scene and at the body site,” Wilson said.
Although it took over two months for the Bureau of Forensics Services to process the initial DNA evidence, Wilson said that the rest of the evidence should move more quickly through the department.
“Now that they have a confirmed body and homicide, they can now prioritize the remaining evidence that they have collected,” Wilson said.
Kahao said that while Glaze doesn’t have family in Del Norte, there are many family members in Europe and Egypt who are mourning his loss.
Kahao acknowledged that Glaze led a difficult life and was part of Del Norte County’s drug scene, but he still has many family members who are looking for closure, she said.
“He has family all over the world that are mourning him right now,” she said. “I know that there are a lot of people out there that have information, and I wish that they will come forward. Put yourselves in our shoes.”
Throughout this trying time, Kahao said, the sheriff’s office has done well in addressing the family’s concerns.
“I would like to thank the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office for all their help answering our questions and giving us information in a timely manor,” Kahao said. “Every time that we called or emailed them they got right back to us, and we really appreciated that.”