Trace elements of DNA found from Hawaii helicopter crash

This Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps shows a Marine Officer attached to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 uses binoculars to search for debris of a helicopter mishap in Haliewa Beach Park, Hawaii. Rescuers battled winds of up to 23 mph and waves up to 30 feet as they searched for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters they were in crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.(Cpl. Ricky S. Gomez/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Marine Corps says trace elements of DNA have been found from Marines killed in a helicopter crash off Hawaii last month.

A spokeswoman for the III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement Tuesday that DNA traces were found during search and rescue operations that ended on Jan. 19.

Capt. Cassandra Gesecki said the families of the identified Marines were notified. The statement said the Marine Corps wouldn’t provide further information at this time about what was found.

Twelve Hawaii-based Marines were killed when two helicopters crashed during nighttime training on Jan. 14.

The Coast Guard initially reported that the choppers had collided, but the Marines said later it wasn’t yet known if there was a collision. The cause remains under investigation.

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