CANADIAN researchers have positively identified the remains of a young child who died when the RMS Titanic sank in 1912
The remains belong to a 19-month-old English boy named Sidney Leslie Goodwin who died with his family as they were setting out for a new life in Niagara Falls, New York, researchers said.
Goodwin's body was found floating in the waters of the North Atlantic six days after the luxury liner sank on April 15, 1912, killing 1503 passengers and crew.
Many of the Titanic victims are buried in a cemetery in Halifax, on Canada's eastern coast.
In 2002 researchers mistakenly identified the baby as 13-month-old Eino Viljami Panula, who they said was travelling in third class to the United States with his mother and four brothers when they all perished.
His DNA matched to living family members in Finland who travelled to his grave dedicated to ``the unknown child'' in Halifax for an elaborate ceremony.
"There was a lot of confusion because we thought we had it right, but more information came to light and we did more research,'' said Ryan Parr, lead researcher in the case at Lakehead University in Ontario.
"Now it looks like it is the Goodwin child.''
Based on the size of the child's teeth, scientists had been able to narrow the possible candidates to children about one year old, or younger.
"Based on the (original) DNA testing, it had to be either the Goodwin child or the Panula child and so we said, 'OK, it must be the (younger) Panula child,''' Mr Parr said.
Later, a pair of shoes showed up that had been found on the child's body, causing the scientists to doubt their original conclusions. Toronto's Bata shoe museum analysed the shoes, at their request, and said they were for an older child, Mr Parr said.
Further DNA testing found that the child's HVS1, a type of mitochondria DNA molecule, did not match the Panula family.
"Many Europeans have DNA sequences that are very, very close, if not the same. And that was the case with these two (children); they were identical for the section that we had looked at,'' Mr Parr said.
"When we expanded our search, it was still very, very close, but it looks more like it is the Goodwin child.''
According to reports, the Goodwin family has been informed of the discovery.