(KRON) — A homicide victim was found in the Santa Cruz mountains along Bear Creek Road on Dec. 27, 1998. The body had been wrapped in a tarp and dumped at the bottom of a hill.

A coroner’s autopsy concluded that the victim died from blunt force trauma. A investigation by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest and conviction of three people for the unidentified victim’s murder.

Even after the triple conviction, the victim’s identity still remained a mystery, until this week.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said “John Doe” has finally been identified thanks to advances in genealogy technology.

The Sheriff’s Office Forensics Services team utilized forensic genetic genealogy in partnership with the California Department of Justice Jan Bashinski DNA Lab, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, and the FBI’s Latent Print Unit.

On Wednesday, investigators said the victim was 22-year-old Eric P. Cupo.

“Eric Cupo’s adopted family and biological relatives have been notified of his identification and are grateful to the Sheriff’s Office for their dedicated and tireless investigation to identify Eric Cupo and bring resolution as to his whereabouts,” deputies wrote.

Detectives dug into Cupo’s past to find out more about his life before it was violently cut short. He was born in California. As a young child, Cupo was adopted by a family in Philadelphia before he later moved to Florida with his adopted father. Cupo briefly returned to Philadelphia at the age of 18 to live with his adopted mother. From there, he moved around the country, and his family lost regular contact with him. Investigators are still unsure of when Cupo returned to California before he was murdered.

The Sheriff’s Office wrote, “We are happy that science has allowed us to give the family closure.”