DNA identifies czar's children

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

DNA tests carried out by a U.S. laboratory prove that remains exhumed last year belong to two children of Czar Nicholas II, putting to rest questions about what happened to Russia's last royal family, a governor said.

The bone fragments are those of Crown Prince Alexei and his sister Maria, whose remains had been missing since the family was killed in 1918 as Russia descended into civil war, said Eduard Rossel, governor of the Sverdlovsk region.

The remains of their parents -- Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra -- and three siblings, including Anastasia, were unearthed in 1991 and reburied in the imperial resting place in St. Petersburg.

Nicholas and his family were shot by a firing squad on July 17, 1918, in Yekaterinburg.

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