Cold Cases Solved


Idaho County Sheriff's Office solve 38 year old cold case

Monday, April 11, 2022
By Idaho County Sheriff's Office

The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office has received confirmation that the John Doe skeletal remains recovered in 1984 near Colt Killed Creek (White Sand Creek) near the Powell Ranger Station are the remains of Roger Brian Bennett of Oklahoma. Roger went missing shortly after his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in the Spring of 1982....

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After 41 years, Air Force vet’s name restored by DNA

Sunday, August 8, 2021
By Caleb Hutton

Steven Lee Knox’s sister cannot pinpoint the date her brother went missing, but she knows it was around the time Mount St. Helens erupted into a plume of ashes. That was May 18, 1980. Hardly a month later, boaters found an unknown man’s body in the Snohomish River. It looked like he had been in the water for weeks or months, dressed in blue-and-white swimming trunks, with tan Big Mac coveralls tangled around his legs.

At the time it was considered an apparent drowning. It took 41 years and advances in DNA technology for investigators to identify the deceased man as Knox, then 24, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Wisconsin.

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1981 Murder of Sylvia Quayle

Friday, February 26, 2021
By United Data Connect

On August 4, 1981, Sylvia Quayle was discovered in her home in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, the victim of a homicide. DNA recovered from the scene was tested and eventually uploaded to the CODIS DNA database.

In January 2020, the Cherry Hills Village police department in conjunction with Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, retained United Data Connect to sequence the DNA sample from the Quayle case and conduct investigative genetic genealogy analysis. United Data Connect provided Cherry Hills Village with the investigative lead which identified David Dwayne Anderson (born 7 October 1958) as the suspect.

A vicious murder case that has been open since 1981 is now before the courts thanks to the outstanding police work of Detective Lenny Abeyta, Cherry Hills Village Police, Investigator Matthew Hanagan, from the 18th Judicial District, Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s superb forensic scientist, Missy Woods, and the leading-edge technology of United Data Connect. Gratitude extends to DNA Solutions for their excellent sequencing of the DNA and and for the platforms which enable law enforcement to identify suspects in these horrendous crimes.

Since September 2019, United Data Connect has assisted local Law Enforcement in solving these other cold cases:

  • The 1963 murder of Girl Scout Peggy Beck (Jefferson County, Colorado)
  • The 1981 Jeannie Moore sex assault and murder (Jefferson County, Colorado) 
  • The 1985 Helene Pruszynski sex assault and murder (Douglas County, Colorado) 
  • The 1996 murder of Tangie Sims (Aurora, Colorado)
  • The identification of Becky Redeker, a Jane Doe (Douglas County, Colorado) 
  • The identification of the mother of 3 abandoned babies in Florida
  • The suspect in a kidnap & sexual assault in Arvada, Colorado. 
  • . . .and others not yet announced.

We look forward to providing the community with more investigative genetic genealogy successes.

Barron County crime scene investigators gather the bones of what later proved to be a victim of homicide on Dec. 3, 2017, just off 10th Street in the town of Maple Grove in a strip of woods near a farm field. Three years later, a mother and her son from Minnesota have been charged with homicide. DNA research led to the identity of the victim and eventually to the alleged participants in that crime. Photo by Mark Bell

Bones lead to homicide charges; Minnesota mother, son charged in three-year-old case

4:23 PM CDT November 24, 2020
By Ryan Urban

Two arrests have been made in connection with the death of a Minnesota man whose remains were found in Barron County in 2017.

Scott County (Minnesota) Sheriff Luke Hennen announced Thursday, Nov. 19, that two arrests were made regarding the death of 63-year-old Gary Albert Herbst of Elko New Market, Minnesota, a small town south of the Twin Cities.

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Officials identify body discovered in Giddings field in 1984

7:08 PM CDT October 23, 2020
By Drew Knight

GIDDINGS, Texas — Lee County officials have finally identified a body found in a field 36 years ago.

The remains of James L. Hamm were discovered about file miles west of Giddings in November 1984. He was born on April 9, 1949, in Escabana, Michigan.

While officials made multiple attempts to identify him over the years, the sheriff's office consulted with the DNA Doe Project (DDP) in May 2019 regarding investigative genealogy to identify the remains. Then, in August, DNA from the University of North Texas was sent to HudsonAlpha Discovery in Huntsville, Alabama, for whole-genome sequencing.

That data was uploaded to GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA, and a team of volunteers began investigative genetic genealogy research. By June of the next year, DDP’s volunteer genetic genealogists provided information that led to a potential relative who was willing to provide a DNA sample to confirm Hamm’s identification.

Related Articles

The DDP thanked the following individuals for their help in the case:

  • Lee County Sheriff Rodney Meyer and Texas Ranger Brent Barina
  • University of North Texas for extraction, testing, and comparison
  • HudsonAlpha for sequencing
  • Dr. Gregory Magoon, contracting through Full Genomes Corporation, for bioinformatics
  • DNA Solutions for developing a reference profile
  • GEDmatch and Family Tree DNA for providing their databases
  • DDP’s dedicated team of volunteer genealogists who provided LCSO with an identification
  • DDP donors
  • Dr. Scott Swanson, Professor of History at Butler University, for his assistance in providing his genealogical research and knowledge of genetic heritage that factored into this case

BREAKING: Detectives Identify John Doe, Victim of Late 1980's Homicide

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
By Snohomish County Sheriff's Office

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – After nearly 26 years of working to identify a John Doe, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit, Cold Case Team and the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office have positively identified him. Rodney Peter Johnson was born in 1962 and his body was found in Lake Stickney in 1994. Rodney sustained a gunshot wound to the head. For more than two decades, Rodney's remains went unidentified.

Rodney was last seen by family members sometime around late 1987 or early 1988 when he reportedly left on a camping trip.

On June 11, 1994, Rodney's body was found floating in Lake Stickney. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner determined his body was covered in a soap-like substance called adipocere, indicating his body had likely been underwater for many years. Detectives believe Rodney was killed in 1987 and his body was weighted down under the water until it surfaced in 1994.

In an effort to identify the body, extensive work was done over the years by the Medical Examiner to create sketches of what the victim may have looked like, however all efforts were unsuccessful.

Successful identification of Rodney was established using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing and genealogy. In January 2020, Detective Jim Scharf and Snohomish County Medical Examiner Lead Investigator, Jane Jorgensen began working with Othram, Inc. to build a genealogical profile from the victim's degraded DNA so they could use genetic genealogy to identify his body. DNA Solutions had previously extracted the victim's DNA from a tooth but there was less than a fifth of a nanogram of degraded human DNA available. The sample was sent to Othram for sequencing and genealogy.

In May 2020, Othram uploaded the victim's DNA profile to GEDmatch, a public genetic genealogy website, and a promising match was found for the victim's first cousin. The Detective and the Medical Examiner Investigator determined the remains likely belonged to Rodney Johnson. In June, a DNA sample was voluntarily acquired from the victim's father and a brother. On August 4, those DNA results verified the remains are those of Rodney Peter Johnson. He would have been 25-years-old at the time of his murder.

Because of this identification, detectives are asking for people to come forward with information, specifically:

- Anyone who knew Rodney or knew of his activities in or around the mid to late 1980's (he would have been about 25-years-old at the time of his murder);
- Anyone who may have information regarding Rodney or his last known whereabouts;
- Anyone with information regarding the murder of Rodney Johnson.

Detectives believe Rodney lived on NW 60th in Ballard and worked at The Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant on 17th Avenue around the time of his killing.

If you or anyone you know has information related to this case, please call the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office tip line 425-388-3845.

Photo: Rodney and his brothers: (Left to right) Chris, Rodney, Raider, Randy (Ron)

DNA evidence leads to arrest of woman for her baby’s 1988 killing

Monday, August 3, 2020


A California woman has been arrested in the death of her newborn boy 32 years ago in the Bay Area, in a case that was solved decades later because of genetic genealogy, authorities said Monday.

Lesa Lopez, 52, admitted to investigators that she was the mother of the baby and implicated herself in the killing, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a statement.

“Lopez, who was 20 years old at the time ... told investigators she hid the pregnancy from her family and friends and provided details of what happened,” he said.

Lopez, of Salida in Stanislaus County, was arrested July 23 and charged with murder. She is being held on bail of $2 million. It wasn’t immediately known if she has an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

Two children playing found the baby’s body on May 15, 1988, inside a paper bag left among trees and bushes on the bank of a creek in Castro Valley. An autopsy revealed the baby was alive at birth and was killed, Kelly said.

The boy, identified by investigators as Baby Joe Doe, was given a funeral at St. Leander Church in San Leandro attended by more than 200 people. A priest posthumously named him Richard Jayson Terrance Rein after the church’s vicars and priests.

In 2005, the DNA of a woman was found in evidence collected from the crime scene. Investigators believed it belonged to the baby’s mother, who was considered a suspect, but she couldn’t be identified.

Multiple investigators with the sheriff’s office tried to solve the case over the last 32 years “for a baby boy who never had a voice and never had the chance of living a full life,” Kelly said.

Last year, investigators again took up the case with the help of experts in forensic genetic genealogy from the FBI and private labs, including Oklahoma-based DNA solutions and Gene By Gene, which owns the genealogy website FamilyTreeDNA.

After extensive genealogy research, surveillance and DNA collected from Lopez’s discarded trash, cold-case investigators linked Lopez to the crime scene, Kelly said.

They used the same advanced DNA testing that helped crack the decades-old Golden State Killer case. In 2018, police investigators identified Joseph DeAngelo Jr., a former police officer, after using DNA from crime scenes to find relatives of their suspect through a popular genealogy website database. They tailed DeAngelo and secretly collected DNA from his car door and a discarded tissue to get an arrest warrant. DeAngelo, who terrorized California as a serial burglar and rapist and went on to kill more than a dozen people while evading capture for decades, pleaded guilty last month.

Kelly Ann Prosser, photo by Ohio Attorney General’s Office

AdvanceDNA team works closely with the Columbus Division of Police to solve the Kelly Ann Prosser case

Friday, June 26, 2020
By Columbus Division of Police

On September 20, 1982, Kelly Ann Prosser was abducted in Columbus, Ohio on her way home from school. Her body was discovered in a cornfield two days later. Through decades of investigation and advancements in DNA technology, on June 26, 2020, nearly 38 years later, Harold Warren Jarrell has been identified as the person responsible for her death. The AdvanceDNA team worked closely with the Columbus Division of Police to solve this case.

We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kelly Ann Prosser.

For additional information, the Columbus Division of Police featured Kelly Ann's case on their podcast, we have provided the link below. Our team would like to thank DNA Solutions, Inc.Family Tree DNA and GEDmatch for their services. #GeneticGenealogy #DNA #ColdCase #Solved #ForensicGenealogy #OPTIN

The 5th Floor Podcast, Columbus Division of Police

2016 case of skeletal human remains identified

Monday, June 15, 2020
By The Umpqua Post
GARDINER — Skeletal human remains found in October 2016 near Gardiner have been positively identified through DNA science.
On Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 6:20 p.m., while fishing, a person's boat broke down on the Umpqua River in the area of the former International Paper Mill, according to a press release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The fisherman was able to get his boat to shore. While gathering wood for a fire, the fisherman found what he believed to be human bones along the riverbank.
In November 2016, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office released the preliminary findings of an examination of the remains by Oregon State Medical Examiner Forensic anthropologist, Dr. Nici Vance. Dr. Vance determined the remains to be that of a caucasian female, likely between the ages of 30 to 55 at the time of her death. Due to the advanced state of decomposition of the partial remains, physical characteristics such as height, weight, hair color and eye color and ethnicity were unknown at the time. It was determined that the female had been deceased between one to three years.
The medical examiner's investigation continued and included attempts to make identification through the use of DNA and dental records.
In 2018, an extensive two-part news story was conducted by KMTR-TV, but no viable tips were generated as a result of that story.
In November 2019, a private laboratory DNA Solutions, produced a new type of DNA profile and compared it to the public family genealogy website, GEDMatch. Subsequently, a probable familial DNA match was identified.
The Douglas County Medical Examiner's Office followed up on the newly obtained information and contacted the family member of the unidentified person. Through the investigation, the remains were identified as those belonging to Genelle McDaniel, a resident of Eugene who was born in 1954. McDaniel had not been previously reported to law enforcement as a missing person.
The follow-up investigation revealed circumstantial information which leads investigators to believe McDaniel's death was likely the result of suicide.
This case involved an extensive amount of work on behalf of several organizations.
"Being able to identify Genelle and provide her family with some answers is the goal we have been working toward," said Craig Kinney, Douglas County's chief medicolegal death investigator.
Dr. Vance added, “Our hope is to bring resolution to families in these cases. With new DNA technology and collaboration, the efforts of many people finally gave this mystery woman a name. Our condolences go out to the family of Genelle McDaniel.”
Original article from the The Umpqua Post

DNA testing identifies suspect in 1963 cold case of 16-year-old killed at Colorado Girl Scouts camp

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
By The Denver Post
Law enforcement say they know who sexually assaulted and killed 16-year-old Margaret “Peggy” Beck in her Girl Scouts tent in 1963, but they don’t know where the suspect is or if he’s even still alive.

Advances in DNA technology allowed Jefferson County investigators to crack the 56-year-old cold case and identify James Raymond Taylor as a suspect in Beck’s killing.

Investigators believe the case is the oldest to ever be solved using genealogical testing where DNA found at the scene is compared to more than a million samples in a public database. The process allows investigators to find people who might be related to a suspect and narrow their search.

That’s exactly how investigators pinpointed Taylor as a suspect. His family has cooperated, Investigator Elias Alberti said Thursday. But they hadn’t seen Taylor since the 1970s. Taylor, who would be 80 years old now, was last known to be in Las Vegas in 1976, Alberti said.

“We have spent several months searching for James Taylor, with no luck,” Alberti said. “We have no idea where he’s at.”

Investigators aren’t sure whether Taylor knew Beck, or how he came to the Girl Scouts camp.

Beck was a student at Denver’s North High School and lived with her parents and three sisters in Edgewater. She joined the Girl Scouts when she was 9 years old and was thrilled to be a counselor at the Flying G Ranch Girl Scouts Camp near Deckers in the summer of 1963, Alberti said.

Taylor also lived in Edgewater in the early 1960s and worked as a TV repairman. He was married at the time. It’s possible that Taylor knew of the Girl Scouts camp because he went in the area to test HAM radios that he built, Alberti said.

Nobody heard or saw anything the night Beck was killed in her tent, Alberti said. Beck’s tentmate was ill and in the infirmary that night, so Beck was sleeping alone. The tentmate discovered Beck’s body the following morning when Beck didn’t show up for breakfast.

An extensive investigation at the time did not reveal a suspect, Alberti said.

Law enforcement collected scrapings from under Beck’s fingernails and submitted them for DNA testing, according to previous Denver Post reporting. Investigators created a DNA profile from the evidence in 2007 and submitted it to a national database, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

A more comprehensive DNA profile was created in June 2019, and investigators were able to identify the suspect through genealogical research by partnering with Denver-based United Data Connect.

Colorado law enforcement have solved several other cold cases using similar tactics, including the 1981 killing of a teenage hitchhiker and the 1980 stabbing of a college student.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader read a statement Thursday from Beck’s three sisters, who are still living,

“Peggy was a beautiful young girl who loved life,” the statement read. “She was loving and protective of her family and we will cherish our memories of her forever.”

If anyone has information about Taylor, they are urged to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office tip line at (303) 271-5612 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867 and are asked to reference case 63-10335.
“Nothing would give us greater pleasure than to actually put handcuffs on James Taylor,” Shrader said.

Original article from the The Denver Post

1996 Cold Case Homicide Solved

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
By Aurora Police Department
On October 24th, 1996, at about 0800 hours, Aurora police officers and homicide detectives were dispatched to the alley in the 1200 block of Iola Street. They discovered the body of twenty-five-year-old Tangie Sims. Her body had been dumped at the location after she was violently assaulted and stabbed to death. The initial investigation revealed Sims was last seen walking to a semi-truck. In addition, it was determined the suspect had cut himself during the murder and had left drops of blood at the scene. Samples of the suspect’s blood were recovered.

Unfortunately, the case went cold and remained that way for a lengthy period of time. Current MCHU Detectives Steve Conner and Michael Prince continued to work this case for the family of the victim. They never quit following up on leads and revisiting the case file. They knew the best chance of solving this homicide would be through the recovered blood left by the suspect and the incredible advancements that had been made in DNA analysis.

In 2019 advancements in DNA, specifically genealogical research, lead to a break in the case. United Data Connect, Inc. through the excellent forensic work a genealogist produced a possible suspect by comparing the blood sample to known DNA from a relative. Detectives Conner and Prince immediately began following up on this information. The leads took them to North Dakota and Idaho where they located a member of the suspect’s immediate family. The family member was cooperative and provided a DNA sample to the detectives.

United Data Connect, Inc. was able to positively identify Wesley Backman DOB 04/12/1955 as the suspect in this horrible crime. Detectives learned that Backman had passed away in 2008. The detectives discovered Backman had been an over the road truck driver and had lived in many different locations throughout the United States to include Aurora, CO.

The excellent work done by the original investigators, the incredible determination of Detectives Conner and Prince, DNA Solutions, as well as the amazing work done by United Data Connect, Inc. allowed the family of Sims to finally obtain some solace and closure. The costs of this investigation were provided by Crime Stoppers which continues to provide invaluable assistance with criminal investigations. Detectives Conner and Prince continue to work with other police agencies across the country to determine if Backman was responsible for additional unsolved homicides.

Identified Barron County John Doe – Dallas, Wisconsin (1982)

January 8, 2020
By DNA Doe Project
DNA Doe Project Case Announcement: Barron County John Doe – Dallas, Wisconsin (1982)

The DNA Doe Project (DDP), with the Barron County, WI Sheriff’s Department (BCSD) announces the identification of a man found in a wooded area in Barron County, WI in September 1982 as Kraig Patrick King of Ramsey County, Minnesota.
Click here to see Barron County Sheriff's Dept. press release

Anyone who believes they have relevant information on this case should contact authorities directly:
Barron County Sheriff's Department
Mary Dexter

We are grateful for all the hard work by our volunteer genealogists, and also want to express our appreciation to, Justin Loe at Full Genomes Corporation, Inc, Family Tree DNA, Dr. Gregory Magoon at Aerodyne Research,
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology,, DNA Solutions, Inc., and Barron County Sheriff's Department for entrusting us with this case.
We also thank family members for their assistance and cooperation. Our sincere sympathies go out to them for their loss.
Image Credit: Dr. Emily Craig / Photo: Kraig King, 1979 senior year picture
Links to More Information
Click here for DNA Doe previous post
For more information on the DNA Doe Project and our other cases, visit our website:

Identified “Clark County John Doe”

January 2, 2020
By DNA Doe Project
DNA Doe Project Case Announcement: Clark County John Doe - Idaho (1979)
Status: SOLVED

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the identification made by the DNA Doe Project. The former “Clark County John Doe” was Joseph Henry Loveless, Born 3 Dec 1870 in Payson, Utah Territory. He most likely died in 1916, making him about 46 years old at the time of his death. His remains were preserved in the Buffalo Cave for as long as 63 years, well surpassing the estimated post-mortem interval of six months to five years.
No photograph of Joseph Henry Loveless has been found. The image shown is a composite created from photographs of his immediate family members and the physical description on his wanted poster. Composite image by Anthony Lukas Redgrave.

Watch the press conference here:
Slides from press conference:

If you have any further information on this case, please contact the Clark County Sheriff’s Office at:
Sheriff Bart May
Clark County Sheriff’s Office
224 W Main
Dubois, Idaho 83423

We are grateful for the hard work put forth by our volunteer genealogists, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Kate Reedy, Dr, Samantha Blatt, Dr. Amy Michael, Department of Anthropology Idaho State University, Othram Inc., Dr. Gregory Magoon of Aerodyne Reasearch, Justin Loe at Full Genomes Corporation, Inc, DNA Solutions, Inc., GEDmatch, Family Tree DNA, our generous donors including the Dyer Family Foundation, the DNA matches who uploaded and opted in to law enforcement matching, and the countless law enforcement officials, anthropologists, search teams, and students who have invested time and effort into closing this incredible case.

Links to More Information:
DNA Doe previous posts:

For more information on the DNA Doe Project and our other cases, visit our website:
If you would like to learn how you can help solve cold cases by uploading your raw DNA and opting in to law enforcement matching, please visit:

Skull in Tulalip woods identified as man missing since 2013

December 7, 2019
Caleb Hutton
Six years after Tyler Sullivan went missing, his family knows he’s not alive. The rest is a mystery.
EVERETT — At the time Tyler Sullivan went missing, his girlfriend was going on eight months pregnant.
The baby came 1½ weeks early.
Sullivan never came home.
Continue Reading ....

Identified “Clark County John Doe”

November 12, 2019
By DNA Doe Project

The DNA Doe Project has made a tentative identification of Clark County John Doe. We are unable to release his name or details of his life until law enforcement is able to provide confirmation. We would like to thank Clark County ID Sheriff Bart May, Dr. Kate Reedy and Dr. Samantha Blatt of Department of Anthropology Idaho State University, Dr. Amy Michael of UNH Anthropology, Othram Inc., Full Genomes Corporation, Inc, Dr. Gregory Magoon at Aerodyne Research, DNA Solutions, GEDmatch, Family Tree DNA, the Dyer Family Foundation, generous donors, and our team of dedicated DDP volunteers.

Anyone with information on this case should contact:
Clark County Sheriff Bart May

See our previous post for information on this case:

DNA Genealogy Crime Solvers

September 9, 2019
Caleb Hutton

Have you seen this incredible case that was recently solved after a fisherman found what appeared to be a piece of a human skull in a Washington river?

Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office announced in August that they identified Daniel Cleveland, 35, as "Big Bend John Doe." Cleveland was known to struggle with mental illness and was possibly suicidal, but his cause of death is still unknown.

Although authorities already believed the palm-sized piece of human skull found on the banks of a Washington river belonged to Cleveland, his identity was confirmed through a DNA profile developed through an Oklahoma lab (likely DNA Solutions, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma).

Deb Stone, from Oregon, performed the genetic genealogical analysis through GEDmatch. During her research, available matches dropped from over one million to zero after GEDmatch changed to a new "opt-in" policy. This unfortunate event increased required research efforts and prolonged the discovery of Cleveland's identity.

Eventually, after narrowing the results, authorities asked his parents to complete DNA analysis to confirm.
Our condolences to the family and friends of Daniel Cleveland on their loss.
Read More Here:

Identified: Philadelphia Jane Doe

August 9, 2019
By DNA Doe Project

The DNA Doe Project has made a positive identification in the case of Philadelphia Jane Doe. We’re unable to share details at this time while the investigation is pending.
We thank DNA Solutions, Inc., Dr. Gregory Magoon for bioinformatics, Full Genomes Corporation, Inc, GEDmatch, FTDNA, and our team of dedicated DDP volunteers.
We extend our appreciation and condolences to the family for their cooperation and assistance during this painful time.

Anyone with information on this case should contact:
Philadelphia County Medical Examiner’s Office
Seth Ditizio, Medicolegal Death Investigator
See our previous post for information on this case:

Identified: Orange Socks

August 8, 2019
By DNA Doe Project

The DNA Doe Project is happy to share the news along with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, Texas that Orange Socks Jane Doe has been identified as Debra Jackson. It was our honor to be a part of this search since April 2018. There have been many challenges. It was a difficult process to obtain sufficient DNA for usable data to upload to GEDmatch. We were further challenged when the two databases we rely on for genetic genealogical research were suddenly reduced in size by a change in their terms of service.
We were in the process of narrowing our genealogical search, when the recent publication of the new sketch by forensic artist, Natalie Murry, caught the attention of a family member. The relative was too distant for traditional CODIS testing to confirm the identification. However, DNA Doe Project was able to assist in the identification by testing the relative with a direct-to-consumer DNA test. That identification was supported by additional DNA matches we had already found on GEDmatch.

DNA Doe Project wishes to thank our team of DNA experts, our dedicated volunteer genealogists, our labs, and the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, Texas for entrusting us with this case.

Identified: Vicky Dana Jane Doe

June 4, 2019
By DNA Doe Project

With deep gratitude, the DNA Doe Project (DDP) announces the identification of “Vicky Dana Jane Doe” as Dana Nicole Lowrey from Minden, Louisiana Louisiana.

On 10 March 2007, a man collecting cans along Victory Road in Grand Prairie Township, Marion County, Ohio found the body of a young woman. In September 2016 Shawn Grate, a suspected Ohio serial killer, confessed to abducting and stabbing the young white female and tossing her body along the road. He said the young woman had been conducting door-to-door sales and claimed she allegedly cheated his mother. Grate became angry and killed her. He believed her name could have been Diane, Diana, or Dana. Dana Nicole Lowrey was 23 years old at the time of her death.

Since February 2019, the DNA Doe Project has worked closely with the Marion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) and Major Christy Utley on this case. The lab received Dana's sample in March and our DDP team received her files on 13 May 2019.

Earlier today (4 June 2019) the MCSO hosted a press conference detailing the investigation, the partnership with DDP, and subsequent confirmation of Dana's identity. We thank the MCSO for their consummate professionalism and for entrusting us with this special case.

We extend our appreciation to DNA Solutions, Inc. for their lab and bioinformatics expertise. Thank you to Carl Koppelman for sharing his facial approximation.

Special thanks to our incredible team of dedicated DDP volunteers who have persevered on this and other cases, despite the challenges we have encountered since beginning Dana's case.

Above all, thank you to GEDmatch, and to those generous genetic genealogy participants who have completed DNA kits and are uploading and opting-in there. We see you! Without you, these cases would have little chance of reaching a successful conclusion. Please continue to educate and advocate for people to upload to FTDNA and and opt-IN.

We extend our condolences to Dana’s family.

Identification announcement of Vicky Dana Jane Doe

MCSO's News Page:
MCSO's Facebook Page: ( Marion Sheriff Ohio )
DNA Doe Project: