Monday, July 11, 2022
On July 17, 2016, Gavin Eugene Long shot six police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in an ambush attack, in the wake of the shooting of Alton Sterling. Three died and three were hospitalized, one critically; of the officers who died, two were members of the Baton Rouge Police Department, while the third worked for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. Long, who associated himself with organizations linked to black separatism and the sovereign citizen movement, was shot and killed by a SWAT officer during a shootout with police at the scene. Background: The shooting occurred during a period of unrest in Baton Rouge, though it is unclear if the events are related. Baton Rouge was experiencing ongoing protests following the officer-involved killing of Alton Sterling less than two weeks before on July 5. On July 7, the FBI's New Orleans field office issued a warning about "threats to law enforcement and potential threats to the safety of the general public" stemming from the death of Sterling. Within the previous week, four suspects were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to kill Baton Rouge police officers, which was described as a credible threat by law enforcement officials. Ten days earlier, five police officers were killed in a mass shooting in Dallas. Shooting: Long arrived at Hammond Aire Plaza, a shopping complex on Airline Highway, sometime before 8:40 a.m. CT and began scouting the area in search of police officers. He first spotted a police patrol vehicle parked at a B-Quik convenience store; it belonged to a sheriff's deputy who was working security in the area. Long parked his vehicle behind an adjacent building, got out, and prepared to shoot, but found that the vehicle was empty. He then drove north and noticed a police officer washing his vehicle a short distance away, but the officer left before Long could get close. By 8:40 a.m., police received a call about a suspicious person carrying a rifle near the plaza. However, due to Louisiana's open carry law at the time, the potential threat of Long was downplayed, with one dispatcher describing him as a "subject walking with a coat and an assault rifle." Authorities were going to question him and had no probable cause to take him into custody. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Long clad in black and wearing a face mask behind the Hair Crown Beauty Supply store on the 9600 block of Airline Highway. Shots were reportedly fired two minutes later. Another two minutes afterwards, there were reports that officers were down. According to investigators, Long fired upon the first responding officers, fatally wounding three. He first shot and killed a police officer, and shot and wounded his partner who fell to the ground. A third officer tried to help the wounded policeman, but Long engaged him in a gunfight as he approached, and killed him with multiple gunshot wounds. Long then shot the first wounded officer twice more, killing him as well. Long then turned around and shot another police officer standing outside a store and then moved to another part of the complex, where he shot and wounded two sheriff's deputies who were investigating his car. At 8:46 a.m., he was reported to be near Benny's Car Wash. Officers fired on Long from behind the cover of patrol cars. Eventually, a SWAT team responded to the scene; one member took aim at Long from about 100 yards (91 m) away and killed him at about 8:48 a.m. Louisiana State Police said Long was the only person involved in the shooting. The entire shooting lasted for less than ten minutes. Officers used a robot to check Long's body for explosives. A preliminary investigation determined that Long was targeting officers and ignoring civilians. A preliminary autopsy indicated that in addition to being shot by the SWAT officer, Long suffered multiple other gunshot wounds. Police recovered from the crime scene an IWI Tavor SAR 5.56x45-caliber semi-automatic rifle and a Springfield Armory XD 9mm pistol. A third weapon—a Stag Arms M4-type 5.56-caliber semi-automatic rifle—was recovered from Long's rental Malibu. Officials believed Long had intentions of attacking the Baton Rouge police headquarters and continuing to kill officers. Victims: Two Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) officers and one East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy were killed in the shooting, while three others, a police officer and two sheriff's deputies (Police Officer Chad Montgomery was grazed by a single bullet in the head, Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Nicholas Tullier was shot and wounded three times in the head, abdomen and upper arm (Tullier later succumbed to his injuries on 05-05-2022), and Sgt. Bruce Simmons was hit once in the left arm) were injured. The injured were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which said it received five patients from the shooting, three of whom later died from multiple gunshot wounds. Of the surviving two, one was in critical condition, being on life support as of August 3, and the other in fair condition. The third injured officer was transported to Baton Rouge General Medical Center and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The critically injured officer was moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann, a recovery facility in Houston, Texas, on November 16. The officers killed were identified as: -Deputy Bradford Allen 'Brad' Garafola, 45, who had been with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office since 1992. -Officer Matthew Lane Gerald, 41, a Marine who had been with the BRPD for four months. -Corporal Montrell Lyle Jackson, 32, who had been with the BRPD since 2006. -Sergeant Nicholas Tullier , 46, succumbed to his injuries on 05-05-2022, he was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. Perpetrator: Gavin Eugene Long was identified as the shooter. He was a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. In May 2015, Long filed papers in Jackson County, Missouri, to change his legal name to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra, but court officials there said he never completed the process of legally changing his name. Long was believed to have traveled more than 700 miles (1,100 km) from his hometown to Baton Rouge using a rental car. He was also believed to have been in Baton Rouge for "several days" prior to the shooting. Long committed the shooting on his 29th birthday. Long's body was released to his family on July 26, and a funeral was planned in Arkansas for a later date. Personal life: Long grew up in Kansas City and graduated from high school in 2005. His parents divorced when he was eleven, and his father was neglectful of Long, according to court records. He failed to appear on scheduled visits with his son while the divorce was pending, and did not deliver birthday or Christmas presents to him. Court records described one instance where Long was picked up by his father, but dropped off at a day care facility at a casino shortly after. Long served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a data network specialist from August 22, 2005, to August 1, 2010. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. During his military service, he was deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009. He was also assigned to units in San Diego, California, and Okinawa, Japan. Long was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, along with an Iraq Campaign Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation, and others. Following his military service, Long told relatives and friends that he suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He reportedly had prescriptions for Ativan and Valium, both anti-anxiety drugs; Lunesta, a sleep aid; and citalopram, an antidepressant. Health records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reportedly indicated contacts with Long from 2008 to August 2013. The VA records said that Long told doctors that he contracted PTSD after a friend showed him photos of maimed and decapitated bodies while they were in Iraq. In November 2011, doctors contradicted Long's suspicions of PTSD and instead diagnosed him as having "adjustment disorder with depressed mood." They eventually concluded that he was mentally stable, with no evidence that he was a threat to himself or others. According to Long's mother, the VA then sent him a letter denying him further treatment on the grounds that his disorder was not related to his military service. Long's mental health and related combat experience may have been a factor leading to the shooting. Long graduated from Central Texas College, attending the college's San Diego site at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and via an online education program from fall 2007 to summer 2011; he received an associate of arts degree in general studies. Long studied at Clark Atlanta University during the 2012–13 academic year. Long also spent one semester at the University of Alabama, in spring 2012, with his name making it to the Dean's List as a general business major. According to local court records, Long had no criminal record and was married for two years before the couple divorced. Views and statements: Long was identified as a "black separatist" by a law enforcement official. Mass shooting scholars said that Long displayed hallmarks of a "disgruntled, paranoid loner" (a common type of mass killer), with a narcissistic and grandiose personality. Social media posts indicated that he was an active member of the anti-government New Freedom Group. According to CNN, a card was found on Long's body, suggesting that he was a member of the Washitaw Nation, a group of African Americans associated with the sovereign citizen movement that originated in Richwood. In addition to changing his legal name, he claimed his nationality was "United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu'ur", and expressed his support for the Moorish Science Temple of America, another African American organization associated with the sovereign citizen movement. However, Long disavowed all prior associations in a recent video, saying, "Don't affiliate me with nothing. ... I'm affiliated with the spirit of justice." In April 2015, while in West Africa, Long also became a member of a group dedicated to helping "Targeted Individuals" suffering from "remote brain experimentation, remote neural monitoring of an entire humans body." He asked to be put on the group's "buddy list", but he unexpectedly deactivated his account a month later. His mother said he once believed the Central Intelligence Agency was following him. He appeared as a guest on an online show discussing "Targeted Individuals", but downplayed his belief that he was being tracked, saying, "That's just a small aspect of me. It's not a complete picture of who I am." However, the show's host, who had frequent phone and email correspondence with Long, claimed that Long was adamant about being tracked during their communications. In a "rambling" series of YouTube clips, Long claimed to be a former Nation of Islam member and referred to Alton Sterling, a black man killed by Baton Rouge police officers on July 5, in online videos. Long operated his YouTube channel under his new legal name, Cosmo Setepenra, making references to oppression against blacks and police protests. At one point less than two weeks before committing the shooting, Long called the shootings of five Dallas police officers an act of "justice". In one video, he said, "One hundred percent of revolutions... have been successful through fighting back through bloodshed." In another, he said the act of peaceful protesting was a futile method based on emotion and was easily forgettable. Long also maintained a personal website in which he described himself as a "freedom strategist, mental game coach, nutritionist, author and spiritual advisor." The website contained dozens of additional videos and podcasts. Long wrote and self-published (also under the name "Cosmo Setepenra") three books about "how to be a strong man" and self-empowerment for black males. which all appeared on Amazon.com in October and November 2015. The books were described by the Los Angeles Times as "bizarre" works featuring a "combination of New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory." In the books, Long harshly criticized Western medicine, denied the germ theory of disease, and asserted that "the abundance of Melanin in Black humans produces a superior organism both mentally and physically." The books were pulled from Amazon.com after the shooting. According to one of his books, he spent two years in several African countries studying their histories and cultures. In addition to the books, Long wrote two diaries—one in 2014 and the other in 2015—where he shared "rambling thoughts" about philosophy, religion, and politics. Sahib Taylor, a nephew of Long, told The Los Angeles Times that his uncle would teach him about the importance of self-reliance, share his views on racism, and assert that "only advanced survival skills and decisive action" could overthrow the U.S. government. Taylor said that Long recently began sharing his beliefs that international corporations, federal banks, and political organizations were influencing ethnic groups for their own gain; and that the government was using police to control and kill people. Before the shooting: Within the preceding six months, Long visited the shooting range of a gun shop in Olathe, Kansas, and purchased a target that he used in shooting practice, according to an employee. The same employee also said Long did not purchase any firearms or exhibit any strange behavior at the store. In a ten-minute video, Long claimed that he arrived at Baton Rouge not to protest Sterling's death, but to educate local blacks. He also expressed his distaste for white people and mentioned Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in a rambling, one-sided conversation. He had previously made a similar recording using a body camera while visiting barbershops in Dallas sometime after the shooting there, to promote one of his books. A friend said that Long visited him in DeSoto, Texas, two days after the Dallas shooting; during the visit, Long obsessively watched video footage of Sterling's death and praised the Dallas shooter Micah Xavier Johnson, saying "at least he did something". The same friend said that Long also showed him a Washitaw Nation card and unsuccessfully urged him to join. Long's mother said that he would get upset at news stories of black men being shot by police, often renting cars and using them to drive to locations where such shootings occurred to pass out his books. Less than an hour before the shooting, Long purportedly emailed a three-page, handwritten letter, self-described as a "manifesto", to a Columbus, Ohio, musician whose YouTube videos he commented on. In the letter, Long described his belief that the shooting was necessary to "create substantial change within America's police force." He also wrote his belief that there was a "concealed war" between "good cops" and "bad cops", and that he had to attack "bad cops" as vengeance for perceived destruction that they continued to inflict on blacks. Aftermath: Although Long was said to have acted alone in the shooting, police arrested and questioned two other people in Addis as part of the investigation. They were later identified as Damarcus Alexander, a cousin of slain victim Corporal Montrell Jackson, and Alexander's friend Den'Trell White. According to them, police held them for seven hours, barring them from making any phone calls and refusing to give Alexander diabetic medication even after they were made aware of his condition. Both were eventually released without any charges being filed. At the time, Alexander was unaware of Jackson's death during the shooting. A spokesman for the Louisiana State Police responded to Alexander's claim of police mistreatment, saying, "No complaints or concerns have been brought to our attention." Following this shooting and a previous one in Dallas, Texas, that killed five police officers and wounded nine others, local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. began readjusting response strategies, with more officers being paired up in patrol vehicles. On July 28, the victims of the shooting were honored at a memorial service in Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. Hundreds of people were in attendance. Governor Edwards, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the wives of the victims made speeches during the service. Louisiana's open carry law: The shooting renewed attention on Louisiana's open carry law, which some law enforcement officials have expressed discomfort towards, believing openly carrying citizens could complicate police matters. Some elected officials have made calls for a reevaluation of the state's open carry law. However, previous attempts at altering state gun laws have resulted in failure due to an amendment to the Louisiana State Constitution in 2012, which gave strong gun ownership protection laws and required limitations of any kind to be faced with strict scrutiny. State Senator Jean-Paul Morrell remarked that gun control bills filed every year in the state are "almost universally unsuccessful." James Gill, a columnist with The Advocate wrote an op-ed addressing the state gun laws and their legal complications on August 11. Reactions: -President Barack Obama condemned the shooting in a statement and added, "These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop." Later that day, he ordered for all flags in the U.S. to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims. On July 22, Obama met with law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., and pledged solidarity in the wake of this shooting and the one in Dallas. -Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement immediately after the shooting, saying, "This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing." On the day after, he called the shooting "pure evil" and "a diabolical attack on the very fabric of society." In an interview, Mayor Kip Holden recommended police agencies across the U.S. to put their officers on high alert and urged Americans to be "vocal about their support for law enforcement". Legal: -On June 30, 2017, district attorney Hillar C. Moore, III released a report, clearing the officers who killed Long of wrongdoing. -In July 2017, injured deputy Tullier filed a federal lawsuit against several leaders of Black Lives Matter for inciting violence. The lawsuit was later dismissed. Death of Nick Tullier: Following nearly six years of treatment, shooting victim Cpl. Nicholas Tullier died on May 5, 2022 from complications due to injuries sustained during the shooting. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Lorraine Thorpe is a British woman who is Britain's youngest female double murderer. Over the space of 9 days in August 2009, she tortured and murdered two people in Ipswich, including her own father. She came to national attention upon her conviction in 2010, when it was noted that she had only been 15 years old at the time of the killings. She was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 14 years imprisonment, while her accomplice in the murders was issued with a 27-year minimum tariff. She remains imprisoned at HM Prison Foston Hall, not being eligible for parole until September 2024. Background: Thorpe was raised in Ipswich, Suffolk. She grew up in poverty, living with her father in a number of "squalid" flats and sometimes in tents. She became associated with a group of middle-aged alcoholics who often engaged in violence and regularly fought with each other. The group were also thieves and repeatedly stole in order to be able to pay for alcohol. Thorpe came to the attention of social services but they could not keep track of her and every time she was placed in a specially-assigned school she went back to her father. Her frail father was likewise an alcoholic and Thorpe had the responsibility of caring for him from a very young age. Her upbringing was said to have left her as a violent young woman who was also highly manipulative. Murders- Rosalyn Hunt: Thorpe and her 41-year-old boyfriend Paul Clarke, who she had met through drinking, murdered a member of their social circle of drinkers in August 2009. After a falling out over a dog, the pair lured 41-year-old Rosalyn Hunt to their flat in Ipswich and tortured her. The woman was kicked, punched and stamped on by Thorpe, and the pair also used cheese graters, dog lead chains and salt to torture her. After days of torture the woman was still alive, and was eventually beaten to death. On 9 August 2009 a member of the public rang police to raise concerns about the safety of Hunt, and officers found her dead when they entered her property in Victoria Street. Her father: Days after the murder of Hunt, the pair decided to murder Lorraine's own 43-year-old father Desmond Thorpe, in order to silence him from indicting them in the first murder to police. Lorraine smothered her disabled father with a cushion before kicking him as he lay prone on the floor. She later admitted to police that they would find 'her trainer prints on his head'. Desmond's body was found by police on the morning on 10 August, after they were told a man had died in Limerick Close. His body was found only hours after the discovery of Hunt's, and police immediately announced that they suspected the murders were linked and arrested both Clarke and Lorraine. On 25 August they appeared in court charged with the murders. Trial: Clarke and Thorpe were convicted of the murders at Ipswich Crown Court on 3 August 2010. Both had denied the charges but gave no evidence during their trial. Prosecution barrister Ros Jones said: "Rosalyn Hunt became a prisoner in her own home and died from multiple injuries due to the continuous attacks she suffered at their hands. Desmond Thorpe, who was killed days later, had been smothered for reasons known only to Clarke and Thorpe." As part of the evidence against them jurors heard evidence from a young friend of Thorpe's who said that she had confessed to her to being a murderer. A fellow inmate also testified that Thorpe had spoken about her father's murder to them on the anniversary of his killing. Clarke was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 27 years, while Thorpe's sentencing was delayed until September at the Old Bailey, where she was duly sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years. Judge Mr Justice Sweeney said that Thorpe had in part carried out the attacks as she had been keen to "impress" Clarke. In his sentencing remarks, Sweeney said: She was responsible for protracted kicking, punching and stamping on Rosalyn, who was not fit to defend herself effectively from the outset. By the end of those attacks she was completely helpless. Far from being sorry, Lorraine appears to have gloried in it, describing to her friends at one stage how she stamped on Rosalyn's head... The only possible explanation for his death can be the fear that he would go and tell the police what happened to Rosalyn Hunt... I don't accept that she was entirely under the control of Mr Clark. She is someone who can be quite stubborn and wilful and is capable of being highly manipulative herself... Her story is an appalling one." Reaction: Upon being convicted Thorpe officially became Britain's youngest female double murderer, being only 15 at the time of the attacks, a fact that was widely reported in the media both in Britain and abroad. Her case was compared to those of Sharon Carr, Britain's youngest female murderer who killed aged only 12 in 1992, and Mary Bell, who was 11 when she killed two young boys in Newcastle in 1968 (although younger than Thorpe, Bell was convicted of manslaughter not murder, meaning Thorpe is Britain's youngest female double murderer). The Evening Standard reported that Thorpe had joined "a small group of Britain's most evil women killers", including Myra Hindley and Rose West. Subsequent events: Thorpe and Clarke had appeals against their convictions for the murder of Desmond Thorpe turned down in April 2011, with judges at the Court of Appeal saying that they had no doubt the convictions were safe. The pair did not challenge their convictions for the murder of Rosayln Hunt. In September 2014, Paul Clarke was found dead in prison at HM Prison Whitemoor. It is believed that his death was a suicide. As of September 2019, Thorpe was imprisoned in HM Prison Foston Hall. She will be eligible for parole from September 2024. Thorpe's case continues to be referenced in relation to discussions on Britain's youngest female murderers. In popular culture: A number of documentaries have been published which have covered Thorpe's case: -On 16 December 2011, a season 5 episode of Deadly Women was broadcast which covered Thorpe's case, titled "Baby-Faced Killers". -On 8 September 2014, Channel 5 aired a documentary on Thorpe as part of its Countdown to Murder series. The series 2 episode was titled "Killer Schoolgirl" and featured interviews with Rosalyn Hunt's brother as well as officers of the investigative team. -On 26 March 2017, an episode of the CBS Reality series Teens Who Kill documented Thorpe's crimes. -On 24 May 2019, an episode of Britain's Deadliest Kids aired that focused on Thorpe. -On 7 October 2019, a series 2 episode of the Crime+ Investigation programme Murdertown documented Thorpe's crimes. It was the fourth episode of series 2.
Luke Durbin disappeared during the early hours on Friday 12 May 2006 from Ipswich, Suffolk. Durbin vanished after a night out with friends and was reported missing by his mother on the afternoon of Saturday 13 May 2006. Background: Durbin lived with his mother, Nicki and sister Alicia in Hollesley, Suffolk, both of whom he shared a close relationship with. An avid guitarist, he enrolled in a music technology course at a college in Colchester, Essex, although he dropped out after a year due to issues with the daily commute. Durbin then worked periodical jobs over the next year, until acquiring a job at a greengrocer in Aldeburgh, a month and a half before his disappearance. Durbin has been described as easygoing and affectionate, often bringing back groceries to cook for his mother and sister. His family stated his disappearance was uncharacteristic, having always been communicative over his whereabouts. Disappearance: Durbin’s friend Alex, a chef in London, had returned for the weekend to see friends and family, prompting Durbin to take time off work alongside another friend, Zach. Durbin rode his new motorbike to Alex’s place in Woodbridge, leaving his wallet, keys, phone and a change of clothes, planning to spend the night. Durbin wore a black/grey long-sleeved collared shirt under a reversible plum-grey sweatshirt, alongside faded denim jeans with a motif on the side thigh, and brown suede shoes. After some drinks at a local pub, Luke Durbin, Alex and Zach then took a cab from Woodbridge to Ipswich to go clubbing at Zest nightclub, although Alex took a taxi back shortly after having too much to drink. After some hours at Zest nightclub, Durbin lost contact with Zach after the latter went to purchase drinks. Durbin was reported at Ipswich train station, a 5-minute walk from Zest nightclub at around 02:00-03:00 AM BST. After being told no trains were running, Durbin is next spotted on CCTV at around 03:45 AM BST heading to Hawk Express Cabs. Having left his wallet at Alex’s place, the receptionist suggests Durbin call his mother for her bank card details, although he refused stating he didn’t wish to wake her. Durbin is then spotted on CCTV walking across the zebra crossing on Dogs Head Street headed towards the bus station at 04:00 AM. This is the last positive sighting of Durbin. Shortly after, a silver or white Volvo 440 is caught on CCTV with registration ‘M206 LYE’, later discovered to be false plates. The vehicle is of primary interest to investigators. The next day, Durbin’s family assumed he had gone to work, although after contacting friends and his work over his whereabouts, he was reported missing by his mother. Unconfirmed sightings: A witness reported seeing an individual match Durbin’s description walking near Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich on the May 12, 2006 between 7:30-8:00 AM. This lead was reinvestigated in mid-late 2011 but failed to produce new evidence. On 13 May 2006 between 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, two witnesses reported seeing Durbin in a dark blue Renault Mégane being driven by a man, near the Turban Centre car park in Quayside, Woodbridge. In late March 2007, a classmate of Durbin’s from Farlingaye High School reported seeing him outside Aldwych Theatre in Drury Lane, London. Subsequent events: After a fatal shooting of a patron in December 2006, a police appeal to the Ipswich Borough Council led to a revocation of Zest nightclub's license, leading to an immediate closure in January 2007. Council members cited the club's reputation for attracting violent criminals and failing to ensure a safe environment as grounds for its closure. In March 2008, Durbin's mother alongside Valerie Nettles, mother of missing teen Damien Nettles organized a 'March for the Missing' event. The event intended to raise awareness over the scale of how many go missing every year in the United Kingdom, in addition to appealing to the government to provide financial support to the Missing People charity. In August 2011, a 29-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were arrested for identity fraud after using Luke Durbin’s details for making online purchases in August 2007. The pair were questioned but ultimately released. In June 2012, a 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder with a 25-year-old arrested on suspicion of being concerned. Both were eventually bailed after questioning and a search of their homes. The LotToDo Theatre Company's December 2012 production, 'The Missing' reenacted Durbin's story based on material from interviews with his family and friends. The production took place at The Etcetera Theatre in Camden, London. In March 2019 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Missing People charity, artist Ben Moore curated the Unmissable exhibition at The Other Art Fair located at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London. A group of artists commissioned 25 portraits of the missing over the years, with Durbin's portrait painted by artist Ru Knox. In April 2020, a Channel 5 documentary explored Durbin’s drug dealing history and his ties to gangs in Brixton, London. It is speculated Durbin owed money to dealers within his network. According to investigators, after Durbin’s shift concluded at the greengrocer, he went on to finalise a drug deal in Woodbridge before meeting up with Alex and Zach, on the night he disappeared. Suffolk Police have described Durbin's disappearance to be one of their most baffling cases. Criticism of investigation: Durbin's mother has voiced her criticisms towards the initial police investigation stating it wasn't taken seriously enough, leading to "grave mistakes" and missing a crucial window in declaring it a murder investigation. Following a review in 2010, the Suffolk Police relaunched Durbin's case as a murder inquiry, referring the case to their Major Investigations Team (MIT).
Damien Nettles disappeared from Cowes on the Isle of Wight on 2nd November 1996 at the age of 16 during a night out with a friend. Nothing has been seen of him since. The investigation into his disappearance has been ongoing ever since, with five men arrested in 2011, although no charges have been brought. Background: Damien Nettles was born June 21, 1980, to parents Valerie and Edward. He has a sister named Sarah. At the time of his disappearance he was roughly 6' 4" in height. He loved the rock band Nirvana and was often seen wearing his Doc Martens boots. Disappearance: On the night of his disappearance, Nettles was wearing blue jeans and a black fleece. It was believed that he had not taken a bag of any kind or any personal belongings with him from home. Nettles planned to go to a party with his friend, Chris, who lived in East Cowes, so his father, Ed, gave him a lift there. The night started with Nettles and Chris attending the party and, after spending some time there, they left to purchase some cider. Nettles was, however, seen leaving the party carrying a black camera, which has never been found. Nettles then journeyed back over to West Cowes via the ferry with Chris. Once back in West Cowes, Nettles entered Yorkies, the High Street fish and chip shop, but left without ordering anything. They then made attempts to get into pubs, but their efforts failed, causing the two friends to part ways for the night with Chris heading home. Nettles then purchased chips from Yorkies and was later seen staggering about till just after midnight. A witness remembers that Nettles was attempting to open the car doors of a blue Ford Fiesta. This person recalls it being somewhere around 23:15 and claims it took place in the Harbour Lights pub car park. After this, another witness placed Nettles at a bus stop near one of The Co-operative Group supermarkets. He entered a bus here, but exited shortly after talking to the driver. It was alleged that he had tried to take the driver's picture with the camera he had on him. He was said to have thanked the driver at the time of exiting the bus. A third witness was waiting in their car for their child to be dropped off by a different bus. Whilst waiting, they claim a person matching Nettles description was eating chips, nestled together with his arms and legs close to his body. The witness then claims the figure approached him, saying “They are watching us”. Investigation: Numerous people who witnessed Nettles on the night of his disappearance alleged he looked as though he could’ve been heavily drunk and possibly somewhat confused. Another allegation was made that a drug dealer by the name of Bunny Iles had sold drugs to Nettles. A previous girlfriend of Nettles, Abbie Scott, revealed she believed there were some aspects of his life he was keeping secret, and went on to say it could have involved drugs, although she wasn’t entirely sure. However, it wasn't possible to completely verify all witness statements from the night of Nettles’ disappearance, as some of the CCTV footage from the High Street that could've featured him, was claimed to be lost by police. As of 2011, eight arrests for conspiracy to murder had been made by Hampshire Constabulary. All these people were released and nobody was charged. On 1st November 2011 two arrests were made in Cowes on suspicion of conspiring to murder after the police received information. The suspects were a man, aged 44 and a woman, aged 35. They were both questioned whilst in custody and linked to an address in Marsh Road, Gurnard, Isle of Wight, which was searched by police in the hopes of finding Nettles, or any evidence related to the case. Prior to this, in May 2011, five arrests had been made on suspicion of murder. These included a man from Sandown, Isle of Wight, aged 48, a person from Cowes, aged 45, a person from Newport, Isle of Wight, aged 50, a person from Ryde, aged 37 and a person from Gravesend, Kent, aged 40. All were released on bail. A sixth arrest was also made in July 2011, a man from East Cowes, aged 38. He was also released. As of 4th October 2013, a £20,000 reward was on offer from Hampshire Constabulary for 6 months. Despite receiving 30 accounts of information during this period, the authorities were still no closer to solving the mystery of Nettles’ whereabouts. Regardless of the family’s pleas, the reward wasn’t extended. On 25 July 2016, a BBC Three series, Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared, was broadcast about the case. Nettles’ family became aware their son may have been captured on CCTV whilst on the High Street in Cowes, so they sought out the owners of the cameras, which belonged to a local organisation. After the authorities were notified, Nettles was pinpointed on the footage. But after it was viewed by Nettles’ mother, she informed police the person in the film they believed to be her son, was in fact not him. She did however locate her son on the film, which caught Nettles’ last movements, in which he could be seen alone, eating his chips, walking along the empty street just after midnight. This was the last moment on film that Nettles’ mother ever saw her son alive. After a period of time, this footage was lost by police. A complaint was made by Nettles’ mother to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2005 regarding this loss and the way her son’s case had had been dealt with. She received a response in which she was advised that the incident concerning the officer responsible for the lost tapes had previously been acted upon. It’s been claimed that Nettles’ mother has conveyed how disheartened she’d found herself, because of the police’s management of the case. Evidence ended up being mislaid, along with records failing to be kept, resulting in any possible progression of the case being hindered. The call log made to police on the night of Nettles’ disappearance no longer exists, and the records detailing which officers were on duty that night were lost. However, the case remains open. Other criticisms towards the handling of the investigation include requests made to commence searches both on land and from the air, being rejected, and the error made by police who initially listed Nettles as a missing adult rather than a missing child. Members of the public campaigned by protesting and participating in a march. Their aim was to convince police to dig at Parkhurst Forest and Gurnard, as claims were made that Nettles’ remains may be buried there. However, police declined this request, as they believed the claims made to them came from untrustworthy sources. Various theories have emerged to explain Damien's disappearance, including that he owed money to drug dealers. Rumours have persistently alleged that a local drug dealer who was in the area on the night Nettles vanished was involved. Witness accounts include recollections of holding a boy up against a wall whose physique matched Nettles'. Associates were arrested and later released. The documentary Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared also mentions rumours of Nick McNamara, shortly after Nettles' disappearance, referring to himself as a "damned man", and of him incinerating suspicious objects outside his house. The documentary also mentions McNamara possibly making a "deathbed confession" about Nettles before dying of a heroin overdose. In spite of the many investigations conducted, plenty of campaigning, and production of documentaries seeking a resolution, Nettles’ whereabouts still remains a mystery.
Sarah Evelyn Isobel Payne was the victim of a high-profile abduction and murder in West Sussex, England in July 2000. Her disappearance and the subsequent investigation into her murder became a prominent case in the United Kingdom, as did the campaign for changes to child protection legislation which resulted from the murder. The murder investigation was also notable for the use of forensic evidence, which played a major role in securing a conviction. Roy Whiting was convicted of abduction and murder in December 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Roy Whiting: Roy William Whiting, the man found guilty of murdering Sarah Payne, was born in Horsham on 26 January 1959 and grew up in Crawley, where he lived for most of his life until he was convicted of the murder. He was one of six children born to George and Pamela Whiting, but three of his siblings died in infancy. He grew up in Langley Green, Crawley. In June 1986, he married Linda Booker. They separated before their son was born the following year and divorced in 1990. Whiting also fathered a daughter with another unnamed woman around 1990. Whiting was involved in banger racing during his 20s and 30s, but eventually abandoned his interest in the sport due to a lack of success. First conviction: On 4 March 1995, an eight-year-old girl was abducted and sexually assaulted in the Langley Green area of Crawley. Whiting was arrested several weeks later after a man who knew Whiting came forward after hearing that the abductor's car had been a red Ford Sierra, which matched the description of the car that Whiting had just sold. The vehicle was then traced by police to its new owner and a knife was found hidden in it. On 23 June 1995, Whiting admitted charges of abduction and indecent assault, and was sentenced to four years in prison. The maximum sentence for the crime was life imprisonment; however, he received a lesser sentence because he had admitted to the crime at an early opportunity, although a psychiatrist who assessed Whiting after his conviction said that he was likely to re-offend once he was released. Whiting was released from prison in November 1997, having served 2 years and 5 months of his 4-year sentence, and was one of the first people in Britain to go on the sex offenders' register. He had been forced to serve an extra five months in prison before being released on licence as a penalty for refusing to participate in a sex offender rehabilitation program. Sarah Payne's disappearance: Sarah Payne, who lived in Hersham, Surrey, disappeared on the evening of 1 July 2000 from a cornfield near the home of her grandfather Terence Payne and his second wife Lesley, in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex, England. Payne had been playing with her two brothers (aged 13 and 11 at the time) and younger sister (aged 5) when she disappeared. A police search of the local area commenced, and quickly transformed into a nationwide search and national news story, with members of the Payne family (mostly her parents Michael and Sara) making numerous television and newspaper appeals for her safe return. On the evening of 2 July 2000, officers from Sussex Police first visited Roy Whiting at his seafront flat in Littlehampton, as part of their inquiries into Sarah Payne's disappearance. A number of other suspects, particularly convicted sex offenders, were also questioned and at least one other person was arrested. Police officers and numerous volunteers scoured the area around Littlehampton for clues to Sarah's disappearance, and her family made daily appeals on national television news for help in finding Sarah. On 10 July, police announced that they had received information regarding the sighting of a girl who matched Sarah's description at Knutsford Services on the M6 motorway in Cheshire on the morning after her disappearance. Three days later, Michael and Sara Payne were warned by police to "prepare for the worst", explaining that the emphasis of their inquiries had shifted and that there was a possibility that their daughter might not be found safe and well. On 17 July, a body was found in a field near Pulborough, West Sussex, some 15 miles (24 km) from Kingston Gorse where Sarah Payne had disappeared. The next day, Sussex Police confirmed that the body had been identified as that of Sarah Payne, and a murder investigation commenced. Murder investigation: Roy Whiting was first questioned about the disappearance of Sarah Payne, which had taken place within 5 miles (8 km) of his Littlehampton seafront flat, some 24 hours after she went missing. Whiting was routinely questioned as he was known to local police as a convicted sex offender. Police first visited Whiting's flat on the afternoon of 2 July 2000, but he was not there. The police returned that evening and questioned Whiting for over an hour before leaving. Soon after questioning, Whiting walked to his van, but was stopped by undercover police and arrested. Whiting spent two days in custody, but there was no evidence to press any charges and Whiting was released on bail. Police had found a receipt for fuel from Buck Barn garage on the A24, not far from Coolham where one of Payne's shoes was found. This contradicted his alibi of being at a funfair in Hove at 5:30 pm and then returning to his flat by 9:30 pm on the night that Payne had disappeared. After his initial arrest, Whiting did not return to his Littlehampton flat, and went to live with his father in Crawley. On 20 July, three days after Sarah Payne's body was found, a shoe was recovered from a roadside in the village of Coolham, three miles from Pulborough, and identified as one of those belonging to Sarah Payne. On 23 July 2000, Whiting stole a Vauxhall Nova in Crawley and was pursued by police at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour (113 km/h) before crashing into a parked vehicle. Whiting was arrested on a charge of dangerous driving. He was remanded in custody until 27 September 2000, when he admitted taking the car and driving dangerously and was jailed for 22 months. After Whiting began his jail term for the car theft and dangerous driving, detectives carried out forensic tests on his 1988 white Fiat Ducato van, which he had bought on 23 June 2000. On 6 February 2001, following a police enquiry, Whiting was charged with the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne. Trial: On 6 February 2001 Whiting appeared at Lewes Crown Court charged with abduction and murder. Whiting pleaded not guilty to both charges and was remanded in custody, with his trial due to start on 14 November. He was still serving his sentence for the motoring offences, but the new charges against him prevented his release from prison during the summer of that year. Whiting's trial began on 14 November 2001, at Lewes Crown Court. The jury heard from several witnesses. The key witnesses included Sarah Payne's oldest brother who had seen a 'scruffy-looking man with yellowish teeth' driving through Kingston Gorse on the evening that Sarah Payne went missing. Lee Payne did not pick out Whiting, however, when he was selected for an identity parade. One of Payne's shoes was found by a member of the public in a country lane and forensic tests had found fibres from Whiting's van on the shoe. This was the only item of Payne's clothing to be recovered. A strand of blonde hair on a T-shirt was found in Whiting's van. A DNA test established there was a one-in-a-billion chance of it belonging to anyone other than Payne. The jury also heard the testimony of two motorists who recalled a white van being parked at the roadside and pulling off a track on the evening of 1 July 2000, near the site where Payne's body was later found. On 12 December 2001, after a four-week trial before Mr Justice Curtis and a jury, Whiting was convicted of the abduction and murder of Payne and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial judge said it was a rare case in which a life sentence should mean life. After Whiting was convicted, his previous convictions were revealed; it had previously been withheld from the jury and media amid police fears that any knowledge in court of his previous conviction could jeopardize the trial and in the event of being convicted, Whiting would argue that he had been tried on the evidence of an earlier crime for which he had already been convicted and served a prison sentence, paving the way for a potentially successful appeal and freedom. The fact that Whiting had now been exposed as a repeat offender sparked renewed calls for the government to allow controlled public access to the sex offender's register, although the Home Office commented the day after Whiting's conviction that such a system would be "unworkable" and run the risk of driving paedophiles "underground", making it more difficult for the police to monitor and locate them, as well as putting them in danger of vigilante attacks. This case is also notable for the extensive use of forensic sciences in establishing the prosecution case against Whiting. Twenty forensic experts from a variety of fields were employed during the inquiry, including entomology, palynology and environmental profiling, oil and lubricant analysis, pathology, geology, and archaeology. It has been estimated that the investigation involved 1,000 personnel and cost more than £2 million. Sentencing: On 24 November 2002, Home Secretary David Blunkett ordered that Roy Whiting must serve a minimum of 50 years in prison. This made him ineligible for parole until 2051, meaning that he would have to live to be at least 92 before parole could be considered; this was in effect an agreement with the trial judge's recommendation of a whole life tariff. Within 48 hours of the ruling being made, the Law Lords and the European Court of Human Rights had ruled in favour of another convicted murderer (Anthony Anderson) who was challenging the right of politicians to decide how long a murderer must spend in prison before being considered for parole. In June 2004, it was reported in the media that Whiting would be applying to the Court of Appeal for a reduction of his 50-year minimum sentence. On 9 June 2010, Whiting's appeal resulted in his 50-year jail term being reduced by 10 years by a High Court judge. Whiting's lawyers argued that the 50-year tariff, imposed just before the power of Home Secretaries to determine how long prisoners sentenced to life should serve lapsed, was politically motivated; the decision was also made at a time when the government was under fire from the public and media over a firefighters strike. Mr Justice Simon said that under 2010 sentencing guidelines, Whiting might have received a whole life tariff, but apparently arrived at the 40-year term by retroactively applying guidelines from the time of the original sentencing. Whiting is now serving a 40-year minimum term, which is set to keep him in prison until at least 2041, when he will be 82. Payne's mother, Sara, was present and said she was "disappointed" by the decision and "life should mean life". Aftermath- Sarah's Law: The campaign for Sarah's Law was spearheaded by the News of the World newspaper, and began in July 2000 in response to Payne's murder. Her parents backed the campaign as they were sure that a child sex offender had been responsible for their daughter's death. Their belief was proved correct 17 months later when Roy Whiting was found guilty of the killing, and it was revealed that he already had a conviction for abducting and indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl. The aim of the campaign was for the government to allow controlled access to the sex offender registry, so parents with young children could know if a child sex-offender lived in their area. Payne's mother has always insisted that such a law would have saved her daughter's life. A modified scheme, whereby parents can enquire about a named individual with regular access to their children, was introduced in four pilot areas of England and Wales in September 2008. In August 2010 the Home Office announced that, after proving successful, the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme would be extended to cover the whole of England and Wales by spring 2011. Payne family: In 2004 the book Sara Payne: A Mother's Story, by Payne's mother Sara Payne, about her daughter's murder and the campaign for Sarah's Law, was published in 2004 by Hodder & Stoughton. In July 2001, it was reported that Payne's parents received £11,000 compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, an executive agency of the UK Government. Sara Payne described the offer as a "sick joke" and "derisory", even though it was the maximum CICA could offer by law. Media sources were also keen to criticise the payout and compare it to much higher payouts made in criminal and civil law for relatively minor injuries and work related stress. Sara Payne was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in December 2008 for her work behind Sarah's Law. In December 2009, she suffered a life-threatening stroke and collapsed while at her home, but went on to make a good recovery. In July 2011 it was revealed that Sara Payne had been among those targeted in the News International phone hacking scandal. Payne refused to believe it, since they had been so helpful in championing Sarah's Law. She even wrote an editorial in the newspaper's final edition. Investigators initially thought she was not hacked because her name did not come up in records. However, personal details relating to her were found that were attributed to another suspected victim. Sara's phone that was hacked was given to her by the News of the World's editor at the time of the murder, Rebekah Brooks. Sarah Payne's father, Michael, suffered from depression following the disappearance of his daughter. He separated from his wife of 18 years in August 2003, and subsequently became an alcoholic, leading to a 16-month jail term for attacking his brother with a glass in December 2011 following a drink-related incident. On 30 October 2014, he was found dead at his home in Maidstone, Kent; police reported there were no suspicious circumstances. He was believed to have died several days before his body was found, as a result of an alcoholism related illness. Imprisonment of Roy Whiting: On 4 August 2002, Whiting was attacked with a razor by another prisoner while fetching hot water at HM Prison Wakefield. Convicted killer Rickie Tregaskis (serving life imprisonment with a 25-year recommended minimum for the 1997 murder of a disabled man in Cornwall) was found guilty of carrying out the slashing which left Whiting with a six-inch scar on his right cheek. Tregaskis received a six-year sentence (to run concurrently alongside his life sentence) after being found guilty on a wounding charge relating to the attack on Whiting. In July 2011, Whiting was again attacked in prison, this time stabbed in the eye. No charge was pressed by Whiting and consequently a police investigation into the assault was not undertaken. Whiting's injuries were not life-threatening. His attacker on this occasion was convicted double murderer Gary Vinter. A third attack on Whiting took place on 8 November 2018, when he was stabbed by two other prisoners in his cell at HM Prison Wakefield. He was taken to hospital for treatment but returned to prison shortly after in a stable condition.
Othram (also Othram Inc.) is an American corporation specializing in forensic genealogy to resolve unsolved murders, disappearances, and identification of unidentified decedents or murder victims (colloquially known as John Does and Jane Does). The company also offers law enforcement agencies tools and programs to infer kinship among individuals, both closely and distantly related, through a combination of short tandem repeat (STR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) testing, as well as forensic genome sequencing of DNA. Othram has assisted with identifications of cold cases such as Beth Doe, Septic Tank Sam, and Delta Dawn. Many cases are not publicized by the company until after a successful identification. Othram technology and casework inspired the 500th episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Cases- Suspect Identifications: These are cases where Othram has sequenced DNA and returned forensic genetic genealogy leads for the suspect in a violent crime such as sexual assault or homicide. Murder of Carla Walker: Carla Walker was a 17-year-old girl who was abducted from a bowling alley in Fort Worth, Texas on February 15, 1974. She and her boyfriend, Rodney McCoy, had been sitting in her car outside of the alley after attending a school dance at Western Hills High School when they were attacked by an unknown assailant who pistol whipped Roy, leaving him unconscious. Walker's body was later recovered three days later from a drainage ditch, half an hour south of Fort Worth. She had been beaten, tortured, raped and strangled to death, as well as injected with morphine. Othram Inc. was contacted in April or May 2020 to use forensic genealogy on DNA left on Walker's body to identify her killer. On September 21, 2020, it was announced that Glen Samuel McCurley, 77 at the time of his arrest, was charged with Walker's murder based on a DNA match. Murder of Christine Jessop: Christine Jessop was a 9-year-old girl from Queensville, Ontario, who was abducted after getting off her school bus in October 1984. She went home, dropped off her bag, and planned on meeting with a friend at a nearby park. She never made it to the park. Her body was later recovered on December 31 in a farmer's field in Sunderland, Ontario. She had been raped and stabbed to death, with semen being found on her underwear. In 2019, the Toronto Police Service contacted Othram to generate a DNA profile from the semen found on Jessop's clothing and perform forensic genealogy to find her killer. After Othram was able to successfully sequence a profile, Toronto Police were able to find her killer in the fall. It was announced on October 15, that Calvin Hoover, a man who died in 2015, matched the profile of DNA and was named as her killer. Murder of Siobhan McGuinness: Siobhan McGuinness was a 5-year-old girl from Missoula, Montana, who was abducted in early 1974 while walking to a friend's house. Her body was found two days later in a snowy culvert. She had been raped and stabbed to death. An extensive investigation between law enforcement and the community was made in order to find her killer until all leads were exhausted. In 2020, the Missoula Police Department, BODE Technology, and the FBI contacted Othram to create a genetic profile from DNA found on the crime scene, after similar techniques were used to identify the Golden State Killer. After a profile was made, the team used forensic genealogy to find Richard William Davis, who was confirmed by DNA to be her killer. Davis had died in 2012. Murder of Mary Edwards: Mary Catherine Edwards was a teacher in Beaumont, Texas who was found drowned in her bathroom by her family. It was found that she had been sexually assaulted before being drowned. Traditional DNA testing on evidence left by the killer yielded few leads, all of which were eventually exhausted. In 2020, the Texas Rangers and Beaumont Police Department contacted Othram to generate a usable genetic profile in order to be used for forensic genealogy to find her killer. The killer was identified in May 2021 as Clayton Foreman, currently incarcerated in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, for unrelated charges. He was extradited to Jefferson County on June 15. Foreman was not initially considered a person of interest in the case, but it was found that he had known her in high school. Murder of Stephanie Isaacson: Stephanie Isaacson was a 14-year-old teenage girl who was abducted while walking to Eldorado High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her father began to worry after school when she didn't come home, and called the school to find that she had never made it to school in the morning. Her body was later found at a sandlot. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. In 2021, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department contacted Othram to examine DNA evidence from the scene to help identify Isaacson's killer. Her killer was later identified as Darren Roy Marchand, who had committed suicide in 1995. Notably, the identification and profile was able to be made with only 120 picograms of DNA, making this the lowest amount of DNA ever being able to be used to help solve a crime. Murder of Alma Jones: Alma Jones was a 77-year-old woman who was raped and murdered in her home in Raleigh, North Carolina in December 1977. In 2011, a male DNA profile was developed from items located at the crime scene. However, no match had been made in the national database and all leads were exhausted. In 2021, the Raleigh Police Department contacted Othram to produce a genealogical profile for the unknown male DNA. Her killer was identified as Paul David Crowder Jr., who died in 2015. Murder of Terrence Paquette: Terrence Paquette was a 31-year-old convenience store worker at the Lil' Champ Food Store in Orlando, Florida when he was stabbed to death in February 1996. In 2003, the case was re-examined and an unknown male DNA profile was developed from crime scene evidence. In the fall of 2019, the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement contacted Othram to use advanced DNA testing on the DNA profile. Kenneth Robert Stough Jr. was eventually identified as the suspect and arrested for first-degree murder in November 2021. Murder of Candice Rogers: Candice "Candy" Rogers was a 9-year-old girl who was abducted in Spokane, Washington on March 6, 1959. Candy was a member of the Bluebirds, who were the youngest members of the Camp Fire Girls of America. She was last seen selling mints door-to-door for the organization. Two weeks after her disappearance, her body was found. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. In the early 2000s, a male DNA profile was extracted from her clothing, but a match wasn't found in the national database. In February 2021, the Spokane Police Department contacted Othram and requested assistance on the case. In November 2021, her killer was identified as John Reigh Hoff, who had committed suicide in 1970. Murder of Kim Bryant: Kim Bryant was a 16-year-old girl who was abducted from a Dairy Queen restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 26, 1979. Nearly a month later, her body was found in a desert area. She had been sexually assaulted and murdered. An unknown male DNA profile was eventually extracted from crime scene evidence. In 2021, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department partnered with Othram to generate genealogical leads in the case. In November of that year, it was announced that Johnny Blake Peterson was identified as her killer. Peterson died in January 1993. Murder of Diana Hanson: On December 31, 1983 when she was 22, Diana Hanson left her home in Las Vegas, NV and did not return. When her family became concerned, they reported her missing. Her body was found later the same day Spring Mountain Road near Buffalo Drive. Investigators determined that she had been sexually assaulted before her death. For 38 years, her case remained open but unsolved. Then, after the suspect in the murder of Kim Bryant was identified as Johnny Blake Peterson, investigators requested a direct comparison of DNA recovered from Diana Hanson to that of the now known profile for Peterson. The profiles matched. Murder of Jawed Ahmed: Jawed Ahmed, a 32-year-old taxi driver, was found shot to death in his crashed taxi in Anchorage, Alaska on May 28, 1985. Witnesses reported that they had seen a white-skinned man fleeing the crime scene and an officer went after him, but only managed to recover a blood-stained shirt. DNA extracted from this shirt in 2009 concluded that it likely belonged to the killer. In January 2022, using DNA and blood evidence recovered from the crime scene, Othram identified the suspected killer as a man named Eric Lane Jones, who lived in Idaho. He was subsequently arrested and confessed to the shooting, and is currently awaiting charges for the crime. Murder of Patricia Barnes: In August 1995, the naked body of 61-year-old Patricia Lorraine Barnes was discovered in a ditch in Olalla, Washington. She had been shot twice in the head, and covered with a sleeping bag. For a long time, she was believed to be a possible victim of serial killer Robert Lee Yates, despite not fitting his usual victims' profile, but he was excluded as a suspect in 2018 when it was confirmed that he was stationed at an army base in Alabama at the time of her murder. Within months of partnering with the local sheriff's office, Othram built a genealogical profile of the suspect and discovered new leads that eventually led to the identification of Douglas Keith Krohne as Barnes' likely killer. Krohne, who had felony convictions for robbery and kidnapping dating back to the 1980s, could not be arrested as he died after accidentally electrocuting himself in Arizona in 2016. Unidentified Remains Cases: These are cases where Othram has sequenced DNA and used forensic genetic genealogy to identify a Jane, John, or Baby Doe. 2020- "Harry": On July 18, 1979, the burned skeletal remains of a young white man were found in a farm field in Charleston, Missouri. His cause of death was initially thought to be suspicious, but was eventually ruled an accidental drowning. He was estimated to be between 20 and 60 years old. He also had light brown or dark blonde hair. Height, weight and eye color could not be determined. Various items were found with the remains, but it was not determined if they were related to the decedent. He was also originally thought to have been female. Investigators believe that the remains had ended up at the farm as a result of flooding, and the remains were burned as a result of typical farm activity. In April 2020, it was announced that he had been identified through efforts by Othram and Redgrave Research. His family requested that his name not be released, but it was shared that he went by the name "Harry", and was in his mid-thirties when he died. An image was later uploaded of "Harry" during life. Rodney Johnson AKA "Lake Stickney John Doe": On June 11, 1994, the decomposing body of a young to middle-aged man of unknown ethnicity was found floating in Lake Stickney near the public boat launch by a fisherman in Everett, Washington. He had been shot twice in the head. He was estimated to be between 25 and 40 years old, was between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet 0 inches (1.73–1.83 m) tall, and weighed between 135 and 170 pounds (61–77 kg). His hair color and eye color could not be ascertained. He was found to have had extensive dental work during his life and had a healed fracture to his left clavicle. He was found wearing a pair of Levis shrink-to-fit jeans, a pair of white Hanes underwater, a pair of black socks, a pair of high-top light brown work boots with string laces and a vulcan sole, and a belt with a metal buckle. Othram Inc. was contacted to help identify the man. On August 12, 2020, it was announced that he had been identified as Rodney Peter Johnson of Seattle, Washington, who had gone missing in 1987. Darrell Splett AKA "McHenry County John Doe": On May 4, 2019, the body of a middle-aged white man was found by hikers in the Rush Creek Conservation Area in Harvard, Illinois. He was found to have committed suicide. He was found clad in winter clothing, and had been deceased for approximately a year. McHenry County Sherriff's Office attempted to identify the man using typical identification procedures, which yielded no results or leads. A reconstruction was also made by Palm Beach County Sheriff's Forensic Imaging Unit to help aid in identification. Othram Inc. was contacted in May 2020 to help identify the man. On October 23, 2020, it was announced that he had been identified as Darrell P. Splett of Ingleside, Illinois. He was 50 years old at the time of his death. Alisha Heinrich AKA "Delta Dawn": On December 5, 1982, the body of a female toddler was seen floating in the Escatawpa River beneath a bridge on Interstate 10 in Moss Point, Mississippi. She had reportedly been seen a few days earlier with her mother, then-unidentified Gwendolyn Clemmons, as Clemmons paced the bridge, seemingly distressed. Drivers reported seeing Clemmons' body floating in the river, but when law enforcement conducted a search, they instead found Heinrich, deceased. During subsequent searches, another man was recovered, however he was found to be unrelated to the case. Clemmons has not been found, and is believed to be deceased. Othram was contacted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office in 2019 to create a genetic profile for genetic genealogy. After the profile was developed, the Sheriff's Office and FBI worked together and were able to identify Heinrich in September 2020. On December 4, 2020, it was announced that "Delta Dawn" had been identified as Alisha Ann Heinrich, last seen with her mother in Kansas City, Missouri. 2021- Vance Rodriguez AKA "Mostly Harmless": On July 23, 2018, a hiker was found dead in his tent near the Appalachian Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida; he appeared to have starved to death. He was estimated to be between 35 and 60 years old, was 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall and weighed 83 pounds (38 kg). He had graying dark brown hair, an unkempt gray and brown beard, and blue eyes. He also appeared to have a faint scar across his abdomen. Rodriguez was found wearing a beige shirt with neon green and gray accents, gray "Russel" brand shorts, "Performance" brand underwear, and a Columbia baseball cap. He was also found with various camping and hiking items. He had been seen alive various times previously, and went by the names "Mostly Harmless", "Ben Bilemy", and "Denim" to those he met, possibly referencing Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Othram Inc. was contacted in July 2020 to help identify "Mostly Harmless". On January 12, 2021, it was announced that "Mostly Harmless" had been identified as Vance John Rodriguez of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, who had moved to Brooklyn, New York after he was recognized by a former co-worker after seeing a flyer. Jolaine Hemmy AKA "Pecos Jane Doe": On July 5, 1966, a young man and woman checked into the Ropers Motel in Pecos County, Texas, using the name "Mr. and Mrs. Russell Battuon" (or "Batuon")". Two hours after checking in, the motel staff heard a scream and checked the pool area, finding the woman floating in the pool after she had drowned. There were no signs of foul play and she appeared to be alone when she died. Meanwhile, the man had been sleeping; after helping the staff retrieve his companion's body, he quickly left the hotel without paying his bill, taking nearly all belongings and the registration card that he had used to check in. Investigators could not find the man after he left, and it was found out that he had told motel staff that he needed the registration card to confirm his stay at the motel for hospital staff, since they were not from the area, but had never arrived at the hospital. He was described as being around 25 years old, with a short slender build and blonde hair, and drove a late model 1963 sedan. The only charges he could have faced would have been a result of "defrauding" the motel, which investigators believe he may have done "out of fear". The woman was estimated to be between 17 and 20 years old, was approximately 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall and was between 120 and 130 pounds (54–59 kg). She had long brown hair and large brown eyes. She had an olive complexion, which caused investigators to believe she was of Italian or Latin descent. She also had a burn scar on the right side of her rib cage. She was wearing a bright red swimsuit when she died, but she was observed earlier to be wearing dark shorts, a bra, and a flowered blouse, all of which happened to have been the only things left behind in their room by the man when he left. Her fingerprints were taken but did not match anybody in the FBI database. She was later buried in a donated casket in Fairview Cemetery, with a donated headstone. An anonymous mourner occasionally placed flowers on her grave and kept the site well maintained. Many tips were submitted regarding her identity, but none have proved fruitful. She would later undergo forensic DNA sequencing by Othram Inc. The decedent was confirmed to be 17-year-old Jolaine Hemmy, formerly of Salina, Kansas in January 2021. James St. Peters AKA "Montgomery John Doe": On October 7, 2016, the remains of a middle-aged or elderly white or Hispanic man were recovered from a reservoir in The Woodlands, Texas. He was estimated to be between 40 and 70 years old, was 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall and weighed 169 pounds (77 kg). He had gray or white hair and possibly greenish eyes. He was found wearing a green long-sleeved shirt, a pair of blue pants, a dark belt, a single black shoe with Velcro straps, a green backpack, a Swiss army knife and a dog tag with the name "Phillip H. Williams" and a ship design. In late 2020, Othram Inc. was contacted to help identify the man. On February 11, 2021, it was announced that he had been identified as James Edwards St. Peters. Lisa Todd AKA "Publicker Girl": On January 24, 1988, the skeletal remains of a young white female were discovered by a man walking his dog in a pump house at the old 'Publicker' distillery in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. She was estimated to be between 16 and 30 years old, between 5 feet and 5 feet 3 inches tall, and weighed between 100 and 120 pounds. She also had brown hair and appeared to be about six months pregnant. Eye color could not be ascertained. She was found wearing 'Braxton' designer jeans, a purple lace camisole, open-toed platform shoes, a black bodysuit top, an oval sterling silver ring with five clear stones and five stones missing, and a silver-colored ring with a belt-and-buckle design. Various other clothing items were found with the remains, however, investigators could not determine if they belonged to the victim. When investigators found the body in the pump house, they had to pump 8 inches of water and oil fuel out of the house in order to retrieve the remains. The location had become a well-known place for the illegal dumping of stolen vehicles. Flyers of a reconstruction and dental records were distributed, which generated 50 leads of missing person reports which matched the victim, however, all of these came up negative. On March 9, 2021, it was announced that she had been identified by Othram Inc. and Bode Technology as Lisa Todd of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shawna Garber AKA "Grace Doe": On December 2, 1990, the decomposing remains of a young white or possibly Native American woman were found in McDonald County, Missouri, tied with several different types of rope, indicating that she was likely the victim of a sexual assault. She was estimated to be between 21 and 31 years old, was between 5 feet 1 inch and 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds. She had wavy, collar length dark brown hair with naturally red highlights. She was found wearing a stone-washed Levi jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of Lee blue jeans, a pair of socks, and white 'Fitness' brand hi-top sneakers. Othram Inc. took up her case, and Garber was subsequently identified in March 2021. Evelyn Colon AKA "Beth Doe": On December 20, 1976, the dismembered body of a young white or Hispanic female was found in multiple suitcases beneath a highway bridge in White Haven, Pennsylvania. Investigators were unable to identify her and she was buried under the name "Beth Doe". After 44 years, investigators finally got a break in the case in 2020 when they compared her DNA to genealogy databases and identified Luis Colon Jr. as a relative of the deceased. Colon Jr. and his family told investigators that Colon Jr.'s aunt, Evelyn Colon, disappeared from Jersey City, New Jersey at the age of 15 in December 1976 and that she was pregnant and in an abusive relationship at the time she disappeared. In 2020, the Pennsylvania State Police and the NCMEC contacted Othram to sequence an extraction of DNA in order for them to use forensic genealogy. On March 31, 2021, investigators publicly announced that Beth Doe had been identified as Evelyn Colon. Luis Sierra, Colon's boyfriend and the father of her child, was arrested for her murder. Missy Poitra AKA "Durham Jane Doe": On October 22, 2016, investigators found the skeletal remains of a woman in a plastic container in a storage unit in Durham, North Carolina. Investigators found her death suspicious, and believe she had been in the container since at least 2010. They were only able to glean a few details concerning her identity or how she ended up in the container. In 2020, Othram reached out to the Durham Police Department to help assist with identifying the woman. They were able to find some distant relatives and gave the information to the police department, who were able to identify her in May 2021 as Missy Ann Poitra, who had gone missing in 2005. Pamela Duffy and William "Digger" Lane AKA "San Bernardino County Jane and John Doe (1980)": On November 17, 1980, the remains of a young man and young woman were found in a shallow grave in the desert near now former US Route 66, approximately 5 miles east of Ludlow, California. Both had died from gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma. The female was estimated to be between 17 and 22 years old, was between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches (1.65–1.73 m) tall and weighed approximately 115 pounds (52 kg). She had a "highly distinctive" smile with several gaps in her teeth, and her left ear was pierced. She had a 10-karat ring with 7 glass stones, the middle of which was missing. The man was between 21 and 30 years old and was 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) tall. He had long brown hair, a pierced ear, and a tattoo of an Egyptian Ankh. His weight and eye color could not be determined. He was found with a white-metal Ankh earring in his left ear. In 2017, investigators accused convicted murderer Howard Neal, who had been living in Ludlow at the time, of their deaths. Eventually Neal confessed to the murders, but claimed he didn't know who the pair was. Othram was later contacted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and Barbara Rae-Venter to create a usable DNA profile to help identify the pair. In December 2020, the pair was identified as Pamela Dianne Duffy and William "Digger" Everette Lane, with an announcement being made in April 2021. Janet Lucas AKA "Christy Crystal Creek": On September 9, 1985, the skeleton of a young woman, nicknamed "Christy Crystal Creek," was found with two .32 caliber bullets in her skull. No clothing was located at the crime scene. Investigators believed this individual may have died sometime between 1983 and early 1985. She stood between 4 feet 10 inches and 5 feet 2 inches (1.47–1.57 m), weighing between 90 and 110 pounds (41–50 kg). Examination indicated that she had a history of smoking and had many fillings as well as two root canals. She also had a type of oral surgery which is distinct to Asia's dental techniques, involving the screwing of a dental post into the tooth. Along with other physical characteristics, it was previously thought she was possibly of Asian descent. It is possible that serial killer and rapist Wayne Nance was responsible for her murder; due to his death in 1986, he was never tried or convicted of any murder. Two other victims believed to have been killed by Nance are "Debbie Deer Creek" and "Betty Beavertail," later identified as Marcella Bachmann and Devonna Nelson, respectively. He also may have committed the murders of two others prior to the Jane Doe discoveries. Lucas was identified in May 2021 with assistance from Othram. She was last seen in Idaho in 1983 and was originally from Spokane, Washington. Kimberly Funk AKA "Vancleave Jane Doe": On February 1, 1991, the skeletal remains of a white woman were found by hunters in Vancleave, Mississippi. The cause of death was not determined but believed to be a homicide. She was between 25 and 60 years old, between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 6 inches (1.57–1.68 m) tall, and weighed between 105 and 135 pounds (48–61 kg). Hair color and eye color could not be ascertained. She was found wearing a bathing suit, and various pieces of jewelry of unknown description were found at the scene. Investigators believed she may have been from out of state. Her case file was destroyed at some point, making various details about her case unknown, including the recovery location and date. Despite the setbacks, she was identified in June 2021 as Kimberly Funk of Mississippi with assistance from Othram. Nathan Hine AKA "Lake Laberge John Doe": On May 9, 2016, the body of a young to middle-aged man of unknown ethnicity was found near the eastern side of Lake Laberge near Whitehorse, Yukon. He was estimated to be between 25 and 40 years old, and was 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall. Weight, hair color, and eye color could not be ascertained. He was described as having crowded teeth and was found wearing a black jacket, a pair of ivory, gray, or cream-colored long underwear, a brown and green camo "CLC" brand glove, a pair of black leather "Dakota" brand steel-toed work boots, and a black belt with a knife sheath attached. Othram was contacted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Yukon Coroner Service in 2020 to aid with the investigation. In June 2021, it was announced that he had been identified as Nathan Eugene Hine of Yukon. Gordon "Gordie" Sanderson AKA "Septic Tank Sam": On April 13, 1977, the decomposing remains of a young to middle aged Native American or white man were found by residents searching a 1.8 meter-deep septic tank in Tofield, Alberta. He had been shot several times and had been sexually mutilated and tortured beforehand, including being burned with a blowtorch and cigarette lighters. Investigators think that the killer must have been familiar with the area, due to the property being derelict and in a very rural location. He was estimated to be between 26 and 50 years old, was 168 cm tall and weighed 70 kilograms. He had brown hair and notable recent dental work. He was found wearing a Levi work shirt with snap buttons, a gray T-shirt, a pair of jeans, a pair of gray wool socks and a pair of brown imitation 'Wallabee' shoes. Othram was contacted by the Alberta RCMP and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in 2020 to develop new leads on his identity or killer. With the new genetic profile, "Septic Tank Sam" was identified in June 2021 as Gordon "Gordie" Edwin Sanderson of Edmonton, Alberta. Steven Knox AKA "Snohomish Jetty Doe": On June 20, 1980, the decomposed body of a young to middle-aged white man was found in the Snohomish River near the old Weyerhaeuser Mill and Dagmar Marina in Everett, Washington. Authorities determined he had likely died as the result of an accidental drowning. He was between 20 and 40 years old, was between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 11 inches (1.65–1.8 m) tall, and weighed 160 pounds (73 kg). He appeared to have brown hair and teeth in good condition. He was found wearing a tan button-up short-sleeved shirt, a possibly white knit T-shirt, a blue swimsuit with white stripes, and a pair of tan "Big Mac" brand overalls. On August 4, 2021, it was announced that he had been identified as Steven Lee Knox with assistance from Othram. Michael Kirov AKA "Dave": On July 28, 1995, a man was witnessed by Canadian Pacific Railway employees jumping up from a ditch on the side of a railroad line in front of an oncoming train in Regina, Saskatchewan. The train's driver blew the whistle and he stepped aside, only to seemingly change his mind and step back in front of the train. The train was unable to stop in time and the man was killed instantly, ruled as a suicide. He was estimated to be between 18 and 29 years old, was 175 cm (5 ft 9 in) tall and weighed between 63 and 72 kilograms (139 and 159 lb). He had well-groomed short brown hair and blue eyes. He was found wearing a blue denim button-up shirt with a gold crown logo on the left front pocket, a grey T-shirt with "Boca Authentic" on the front, faded jeans, white socks, a pair of blue and white Reebok hi-top basketball sneakers, a silver rose brooch, and a knapsack with clothing and personal items. A witness claimed to have been travelling with the decedent from Alberta to Regina. He described the man as well mannered and well groomed, and that his name may have been "Brian", and that he was from Ontario, although other sources state that he called himself "Dave". He did not seem very street savvy, and did not appear to be a drifter. He had enjoyed discussing politics and reading Stephen King novels, and constantly wrote in a diary, which was never found. He may have recently broken up with a girlfriend by the name of "Kathy". After leads were exhausted, Othram was contacted in December 2020 to generate new leads based on DNA. After they returned their findings, Regina Police Service was able to continue their investigation and identified the unknown man as Michael Kirov of Winnipeg, Manitoba, in mid-August 2021. David Milek AKA "Granite County John Doe": On August 11, 2014, the remains of a young to middle aged white man were found near Bidwell Gulch at the Welcome Creek Wilderness Area in Philipsburg, Montana. He was believed to possibly be a backpacker or camper, reflected by the items he was found with. He was estimated to be between 23 and 57 years old, was 6 feet tall and weighed 140 pounds. Hair color and eye color could not be determined. He was found wearing a pair of jeans and leather boots. Items found with him included a 'Coleman' brand sleeping bag sack, a knife, and a can of bear spray. Othram was contacted in April 2021 to help identify the man. He was identified in September 2021 as David John Milek of Dallas, Texas. Theodore Kampf AKA "Dawson City John Doe": On May 21, 1983, the remains of a young to middle-aged white man were found near the North Fork Dam in Dawson City, Yukon. His cause of death was unknown, but authorities believed his manner of death was homicide. He was found wearing dark blue denim pants, a size 36 belt, white cotton underwear, and white cotton socks. Due to his clothing, he was believed to be American. Othram was contacted by the Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and Yukon Coroner Service in 2019 to assist in identifying the victim. On September 14, 2021, his identity was announced as 46-year-old Theodore Frederick Kampf, an American citizen who had traveled from Oaklyn, New Jersey to the Yukon in July 1981. Investigators now believe that he was murdered that same month. Margaret Fetterolf AKA "Woodlawn Jane Doe": On September 12, 1976, the body of a young woman was found partially wrapped in a white sheet near a cemetery in Woodlawn, Baltimore County, Maryland. She had been beaten, strangled, and raped. The rape had caused bleeding that had seeped into her clothing. Investigators speculated that she was murdered at a different location and then left at the scene at which she was found. It was estimated that she was between 15 and 30 years old, 149 and 159 pounds, and 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 9 inches tall. She was found wearing a white and tan shirt, a white bra, and knee-high socks with multi-colored stripes. Othram was contacted by BODE Technology and Baltimore County Police in February 2021 to produce a comprehensive genealogical profile from DNA extracted from the victim. On September 15, 2021, it was announced that she had been identified as 16-year-old Margaret Fetterolf of Alexandria, Virginia. Marlene Standridge AKA "Gwinnett County Jane Doe": On December 9, 1982, a female skull was found in the woods in unincorporated Stone Mountain, Gwinnett County, Georgia. At the time, it was believed that the remains were at the location for 6 to 10 years. The victim was initially thought to be black and between 18 and 30 years old. Othram was contacted by the Gwinnett Homicide Unit in March 2021 to generate a DNA profile from the skull. DNA analysis determined the victim was white, not black like previously believed. On September 16, 2021, the victim was identified as Marlene Standridge, who had disappeared in the early 1970s. Law enforcement is currently investigating her murder. Clara Birdlong AKA "Escatawpa Jane Doe": On December 27, 1977, skeletal human remains were found in Escatawpa, Mississippi. The victim was determined to be an African American woman with a front gold tooth. She possibly wore a wig. It is estimated that the woman might have died 3 to 4 months before she was found. In 2018, serial killer Samuel Little confessed to numerous murders, including the murder of Escatawpa Jane Doe. Little said he murdered a woman that he met at a bar in Gulfport and that she was possibly from the Pascagoula area. Investigators confirmed that he was arrested in Pascagoula in August 1977 during the time period the victim was estimated to have died. He died in prison in December 2020. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with the Mississippi State Crime Lab, reached out to Othram to use advanced DNA testing to identify the victim. On September 21, 2021, it was announced that she had been identified as 44-year-old Clara Birdlong from Leflore County, Mississippi. Kyle Martin AKA "Palisades Pete": On September 16, 2002, a skull and several bones were found at the Palisades Reservoir between Big Elk and Blowout Canyon in Bonneville County, Idaho. The remains were determined to belong to a male of an undetermined race that was approximately 25 to 45 years old. Othram teamed up with the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office and Southeast Missouri State University in March 2021 to identify the remains. On September 23, 2021, the remains were identified as 24-year-old Kyle Martin of Jackson, Wyoming. He disappeared while kayaking in the Hoback River on June 1, 1995, and it is believed that he drowned. Anderson Bolls AKA "Hinds County John Doe": On August 27, 2020, the skeletal remains of a man were discovered in a wooded area in Hinds County, Mississippi. He was found wearing khaki pants, white athletic shoes, and a dark colored jacket. Othram partnered with the Mississippi State Crime Lab to generate his genealogical profile. On September 30, 2021, he was identified as 55-year-old Anderson Bolls of Jackson, Mississippi, who had been missing since April 1, 2020. Janet Robinson AKA "Fort Sumter Jane Doe": On October 25, 2020, a right foot wearing a sneaker was discovered on a beach near Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina. The victim's left foot was found on March 17, 2021. Othram received evidence from the Charleston County Coroner's Office in June 2021 to produce leads on the victim's identity. On October 6, 2021, the remains were identified as 57-year-old Janet Robinson, who was originally from Mississippi. Timothy Gomez AKA "Gardendale John Doe": On September 10, 2019, a skull and other remains were found on a ranch in Gardendale, Texas. The remains were determined to be from a male and it was estimated that death may have occurred 2 to 5 years prior to discovery. Items found near the victim included an Adidas shoe, pants, a reversible belt, a 2002 Audi flip key fob, and a black hair tie. Othram was contacted by the Ector County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers in February 2021 to produce a genealogical profile of the victim. On October 14, 2021, he was identified as Timothy Daniel Gomez. "Nags Head Baby Doe": On April 4, 1991, the decomposed remains of an infant were found under a trash can in Nags Head, North Carolina. Due to advanced decomposition, gender was unable to be determined. The medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.Othram was contacted by the Nags Head Police Department to identify the victim, who was eventually determined to be a boy via DNA analysis. On October 25, 2021, it was announced that he was identified as the child of Scott Gordon Poole, and his wife, Robin Lynn Byrum of Taylorsville, North Carolina. The couple was arrested for their involvement in his death. George Seitz AKA "Queens John Doe": On March 12, 2019, the dismembered partial remains of a man were discovered in the backyard of a home in Queens, New York City after a woman contacted police and informed them that she had seen her stepfather burying a body when she was a child in the 1970s. However, she did not know the identity of the victim. Othram partnered with the Queens District Attorney's Office and the NYC FBI to identify the victim. On November 3, 2021, it was announced that he had been identified as 81-year-old George Clarence Seitz, who disappeared after leaving his home to get a haircut on December 10, 1976. Seitz was a World War I veteran. Martin Motta was arrested and indicted by a grand jury for the murder. Sherri Jarvis AKA "Walker County Jane Doe": On November 1, 1980, the body of a teenage girl was found along Interstate 45 near Huntsville, Texas, having been beaten severely and strangled. 14-year-old Sherri Ann Jarvis had been in the custody of the state of Minnesota, after excessive truancy from school, until she ran away and disappeared at age 14. It is not known how she made her way to Texas, but three witnesses in the area described her as saying she wanted to go to the now-defunct Ellis Prison Farm to see a "friend". The connection Sherri may have had to the Ellis Prison Farm has never been discovered. She was publicly identified on November 9, 2021, with assistance from Othram, Inc. The company had begun work on the case during the summer of 2020, finding a potential match in March 2021. Further investigation led to the victim's positive identification. Aaron McGraw AKA "Moss Point John Doe": On October 25, 2016, skeletal remains were found in a wooded area in Moss Point, Mississippi. It was determined that the remains belonged to a man who was likely Caucasian and between 30 and 50 years old. Othram partnered with the Mississippi State Crime Lab and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office to identify the man. On November 15, 2021, he was identified as Aaron McGraw. Aaron was reported missing in May 2015 and had a history of mental illness. Foul play isn't suspected in his death. Michael Allison Beavers AKA "Fire Island John Doe": In 1989, human remains were found on the northwest shore of Fire Island off the coast of Alaska. It was determined that they were of a homicide victim who was Caucasian and between 30 and 50 years of age. Othram worked with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI) Cold Case Investigation Unit (CCIU) to identify the man. On December 01, 2021, he was identified as Michael Allison Beavers. Michael was reported missing in January 1980. He last had contact with his family in November 1979. Roland D. Klug AKA "Winnebago County John Doe (2015)": In 2015, human remains were found along the railroad tracks outside of Vinland, Wisconsin. He was tested using the CODIS system, but there were no matches. In 2021, Othram worked with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, the Winnebago County Coroner's Office, and Dr. Jordan Karsten, professor UW-Oshkosh to identify the man as Roland D. Klug. He was born 1949 and was from Oshkosh. Edward Evans AKA “Northampton John Doe (1995)”: In December 1995, a group found a skull along the bank of the Roanoke River in the Garysburg area of North Carolina. The reported it to law enforcement, and investigators searched the area. They found a nearly intact skeleton and clothing under a light covering of soil and leaves. In 2021, Othram worked with the Northampton County Sheriff's Office to DNA sequence the remains and provide forensic genetic genealogy research. He was identified as Edward Evans born in 1906. He was last seen by his family in 1982. Xin Rong AKA "Saginaw County John Doe": On September 9, 2018, the owner of a wooded piece of land in Chapin Township, Michigan, was checking game cameras and discovered the remains of an unidentified man. The unidentified man had been fully skeletonized by the time he was discovered, suggesting a time of death at around 1-5 years prior to discovery. An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was severe blunt force trauma. The state of decomposition made it difficult to confirm the man's physical attributes, but pathologists were able to determine that the man was likely an adult male between the ages of 25 and 55, who stood at around 5’10 feet tall. There was no definitive assessment of biogeographical ancestry. The unknown man was fully clothed and had black Sketchers work boots, a 32-inch Calvin Klein belt, and a Boston Trader’s sweatshirt. On December 16, 2021, he was identified as 27-year-old Xin Rong, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan and licensed pilot whose rented plane was found crashed in Canada in 2017, but his body was not found. While it was supposed that he might have jumped off, he was declared legally dead in October 2017. 2022- Patricia Cavallaro AKA "Riverside County Jane Doe": On October 24, 1994, an unidentified woman was found buried in a shallow grave near Thousand Palms, California. The investigation suggested that the woman was a homicide victim. At the time of discovery, the Coroner's Office used all available resources to identify the victim, including having her DNA profile entered into the California Department of Justice Missing and Unidentified Persons System, but no identification was able to be made. With conventional STR testing not producing leads and other leads and tips exhausted, the case soon went cold. On January 3, 2022, she was identified as 57-year-old Patricia Cavallaro of Bellflower, California, thanks to a DNA sample provided by one of her surviving children. Detectives suspect that she had been killed elsewhere and then dumped in the desert, and are continuing to investigate her murder. Donald Rindahl AKA "Isanti County John Doe": In August 2003, skeletal remains were found in the area of Highway 47 and County Road 5 in Bradford Township, Minnesota. The remains were discovered during an excavation project by a land owner. It was believed the body was that of a Caucasian male, 20-28 years old and had been buried for 3 to 28 years. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) obtained a DNA profile and dental records which were entered into missing person databases. A facial reconstruction was also commissioned to generate clues to the unidentified person's identity. In January 2022, the decedent was identified as 22-year-old Donald Rindahl of New Brighton, who disappeared in the early 1970s. Rindahl, who had been sought after by the FBI due to his involvement with illicit drugs, is suspected to have been murdered, but his official cause of death is currently undetermined. Jean Turner Ponders AKA "Lincoln Jane Doe": In May 2012, a Talladega County Sheriff's Office deputy was patrolling rural Allred Road in Lincoln, Alabama. He noticed the front door of a vacant home was wide open and decided to investigate. When he searched the backyard of the property, he discovered the human remains of an unknown woman. Her body was found less than five miles from the Talladega Superspeedway, a NASCAR racetrack that holds several major race events each year. At the time she was discovered, the Superspeedway was holding a multi-day race event with thousands in attendance. Investigators were not able to determine if the woman and her death were connected in any way to the events held that weekend. Investigators estimated that the woman was white and between 45 and 65 years old. She was found wearing a royal blue shirt, dark blue sweatpants, and off-white shoes. She had sandy brown hair that was graying and wore dentures engraved with the name "Powders." The state forensics department found that she likely had lung cancer. There was no identifying documents found at the scene and the remains were too decomposed to collect fingerprints. The case was entered into NCIC and NamUs in August 2012. Her description did not match any local missing persons cases and with all leads exhausted, the case soon went cold. In January 2022, Othram, using DNA extracted from the body after an autopsy, identified the decedent as 67-year-old Jean Turner Ponders of Roswell, Georgia. Her death is not considered suspicious, although authorities are still trying to determine what brought her to the abandoned house. Franklin D. Feldman AKA "Bethlehem John Doe": In April 1981, the Bethlehem Police Department responded to a wooded area at the property line between the Vadney Farm and the Elm Avenue Town Park in Delmar, New York after a farmer discovered the remains of an adult man. There was no identification on the deceased individual. The Bethlehem Police Department began an investigation and followed up on all leads for several years before all leads were exhausted. In 2013, the Bethlehem Police Department re-opened the investigation into this case and undertook efforts to identify the deceased man. Through the course of this investigation police were able to locate the mandible and maxilla of the deceased at a dentist office in Saratoga County. The previous dentist at this location had been involved in working to identify the decedent back in 1981. The mandible and maxilla were examined with the assistance of a Forensic Odontologist from the New York State Police, and found to be those of the deceased from 1981. These bones were then submitted to the New York State Police Lab, New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the University of Texas Center for Human Identification in efforts to develop a DNA profile of the deceased. In January 2022, the man was identified as 41-year-old Franklin D. Feldman, a transient originally from Massachusetts. The match was made through familial DNA provided by a family member. While his death is not considered suspicious, it is unclear how exactly Feldman died. Timothy Mangum AKA "Stafford County John Doe (1990)": On September 28, 1990, a homeowner cleaning a field in Stafford County, Virginia found what appeared to be a human skull. DNA testing concluded that the skull belonged to a male aged between 15 and 18 years, and who had likely died a year to three years prior. In February 2022, Othram identified the decedent as Timothy Alan Mangum, a resident of Norfolk who was last seen alive in 1983–1984. As he had not kept in contact with his family, it is unclear what led up to and caused his death. Anyone who might have information regarding Mangum's activities is encouraged to contact the county sheriff's office. Charles Wane Dodd "Montgomery County John Doe": In 1988, a hunter found suspected human skeletal remains while hunting. The skeletal remains were taken to a dentist for examination, who determined they were human remains; further analysis determined them to be the remains of an older human male. In February 2022, Othram identified the remains as Charles Wane Dodd of Dallas, Texas. Dodd was reported missing in 1985, 3 years before the remains were found; he would have been 74 years old at the time of his death. An investigation into the circumstances of his death continues. Ronald David Chambers AKA "Stanwood Bryant Doe": On August 3, 1980, a human skull and bones, the former bearing a gunshot wound to the back, were found on private property in Arlington, Washington. Little was known about the decedent and the case remained cold until the grave was exhumed in 2011 for further research. In February 2022, Othram identified the remains as belonging to 28-year-old Ronald David Chambers, who was last seen leaving a motel in SeaTac in the company of his friend Robert "Bob" Helberg on December 17, 1978. Helberg, a self-professed hitman who was considered a suspect in Chambers' disappearance and several murders, died in a federal prison in California in 1993, but authorities continue to seek information about his activities from 1978 to 1985. Richard Wayne Guarro AKA "Tortoise Reserve Doe": On July 7, 2001, the remains of a man were found approximately five miles off the I-15 highway near Las Vegas, Nevada. Coroners concluded that the victim had been killed, but were unable to establish how exactly he was killed or who had done it at the time. In March 2022, Othram identified the man as 39-year-old Richard Wayne Guarro using DNA provided by his sister. He was last seen alive during a trip to Las Vegas on November 18, 1996, but vanished soon after. Investigators are now seeking information that could lead to his killer. Sharon Lee Gallegos AKA "Little Miss Nobody": The partially buried body of a female child was found in Sand Wash Creek Bed on Old Alamo Road in Congress, Arizona on July 31, 1960. Her cause of death was never determined by medical examiners, but her case was officially declared to be a homicide. She became known as "Little Miss Nobody" after no family or friends came forward to either report her missing or to claim her body. In March 2022, local authorities, with the help of Othram, announced her identity. Gallegos was last seen on 21 July, 1960, when she was abducted as she was in an alley behind her home. Gary Simpson AKA "Moss Point John Doe (1982)": The skeletal remains of a young man were found beneath the eastbound I-10 bridge spanning the Escatawpa River in Moss Point, Mississippi on December 8, 1982. His remains were located only about 60 yards from where the body of Alisha Heinrich was found, however investigators ruled out a connection. This John Doe was estimated to have been in his late teens to early 20's when he died around six months to 3 years prior to Heinrich. In March 2022, local authorities, with the assistance of Othram, identified him as Gary Simpson. Simpson was born in 1962 and was from Louisiana. Investigators continue to investigate the circumstances that led up to Simpson's murder and how he ended up in Mississippi. Stacey Lynn Chahorski AKA "Rising Fawn Jane Doe": On December 16, 1988, the remains of a woman were found near a highway in Rising Fawn, Georgia, with indications that she had been strangled. The case remained cold until the GBI contacted Othram, who utilized DNA to identify the decedent as 19-year-old Stacey Chahorksi, a hitchhiker who last contacted her family members in Norton Shores, Michigan in September 1988. Efforts to identify her killer are ongoing. Roger Brian Bennett AKA "Mr. Bones": On September 19, 1984, deputies from the sheriff's office in Grangeville, Idaho were dispatched to investigate an abandoned campsite they had explored the year prior, after a local reported finding a human skeleton there. While there were numerous personal items in the area, there was no identification. Over the years, authorities made several attempts to identify the decedent, including constructing several different clay composites, but the case remained cold. In April 2022, using DNA extracted from a previous exhumation, Othram identified the man as Roger Brian Bennett. He was last heard of when he contacted his family in Oklahoma in early 1982 to inform them that he had been discharged from Keesler Air Force Base and was on his way to Houma, Louisiana to search for work at an oil rig. His cause of death is unclear, and is under investigation. Brenda Sue Black AKA "Will County Jane Doe": On April 19, 1981, the partial skeletal remains of a woman was found off the I-80 near New Lenox, Illinois. No clothing was found at the scene, and there were indications that the body might have been transported to the crime scene after death. In April 2022, the decedent was identified as Brenda Sue Black, who was last seen on January 1, 1980 in Vandalia, Ohio, while supposedly en route to an unspecified location in California. Investigation into her cause of death is ongoing. Margaret Ann "Maggie" Sniegowski, Jr. AKA "Boone County Jane Doe": On May 3, 1992, the unidentified remains of a woman were found off the I-65, near Lebanon, Indiana by a farmer. Little could be ascertained as to her cause of death, but authorities at the time suspected it was homicidal in nature. On April 13, 2022, the woman was identified as 17-year-old Maggie Sniegowski, who was originally from Toledo, Ohio. Research into her potential murder is ongoing. David E. Reed AKA "Meridian John Doe": In May 2018, the skeletal remains of an adult male were found scattered in a wooded area near 145 U.S. Route 80 near Meridian, Mississippi. This body was estimated to have been between 5'3 and 6'1 in length. There were no identification documents found with the man and he left behind almost no clues as to who he might've been. In 2021, the Mississippi State Medical Examiner's Office along with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation partnered with Othram to use genetic genealogy to help identify the man. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram's lab where DNA was extracted and a genealogical profile of the man was built. Carla Davis, a Mississippi native and philanthropist, provided funding and performed the genealogical research for the team. On April 21, 2022, the man was identified as David E. Reed, a U.S Navy veteran who was born in 1951. Research into his death is ongoing. Dean Jeffrey AKA "D'iberville John Doe": In April 2020, the body of a man was found in D'iberville, Mississippi, behind 3680 Sangani Blvd about 20 feet from shore in the water. The man didn't have identification documents with him and he left behind few clues as to who he might have been. The only notable detail was his t-shirt which bore an illustration of a little green man and the phrase "Nobody Freakin Cares". In 2021, the Mississippi State Medical Examiner's office along with the D'iberville Police Department partnered with Othram to use genetic genealogy to identify the man. The funding and genealogical research was done by the same philanthropist who helped identify Meridian John Doe. On April 25, 2022, the man was identified as Dean Jeffrey. Research into his death is ongoing. "Lincoln County John Doe (2006)": In 2006, human skeletal remains were found near a wood pile in Missouri. A forensic facial reconstruction was commissioned, but with few leads to pursue, the case went cold. In 2021, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the Lincoln County Coroners' Office, and Southeast Missouri State University coordinated with Othram, and used genetic genealogy to identify the man. Due to the condition of the remains at the time of their discovery, Lincoln County Coroner Dan Heavin, has said the cause of death remains undetermined, however there appears to be no signs of foul play or traumatic injury. The relatives of the deceased were contacted, and the remains released for burial. The family has asked that further details to be held in privacy, and local officials have agreed to honor this request. Isabel Sanchez Bernal AKA "Mammoth Lakes Jane Doe": In 2003, skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave in CA. The victim's information was entered into NCIC and ViCAP. With few leads to work from, the case went cold. In 2020, the Mono County Sheriff's Office teamed with Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to generate leads. Othram scientists produced a profile and an updated ancestry assessment of the victim. Othram used KinSNP™ familial testing to confirm a familial relationship identified during the investigation, which led to the discovery that the victim was Isabel Sanchez Bernal. Isabel came from Mexico City to Mammoth Lakes in 2002 and worked as a housekeeper in Mammoth Lakes. Several months later, her boyfriend, Diego Hernandez-Antonia, also arrived in Mammoth Lakes, where they stayed with extended family. In the fall of 2002, Diego and Isabel went for a walk however, only Diego returned. When questioned later by family members, Diego said that Isabel had left the area with someone else and provided a forged note from Isabel telling her extended family not to look for her. On April 5, 2022, the Mono County Superior Court sentenced Diego Hernandez-Antonia to a term of 11 years in state prison for the voluntary manslaughter of Isabel Bernal-Sanchez, closing one of the longest “cold cases” in Mono County history. Jimmy Mack Brooks AKA "Chatham County John Doe": On March 31, 1976, the dismembered remains of a male decedent were found in rural Moncure, North Carolina. Due to the lack of basic information about the man or any clues as to what had happened, the case quickly went cold. It was picked up by the NC Unidentified Project in 2020, who subsequently partnered up with Othram to build a genealogical profile of the decedent. In May 2022, he was identified as 26-year-old Jimmy Mack Brooks, an unmarried Army veteran. Little is known about the circumstances of his disappearance and his supposed murder, which is currently under investigation. Juanita Diane Roxy Coleman AKA "Hinds County Jane Doe": On March 13, 2018, the partially burned remains of a female decedent were found in a wooded area near Bolton, Mississippi. A definite cause of death could not be established, but investigators nonetheless deemed the death as "suspicious". In May 2022, the woman was identified as 19-year-old Juanita Coleman, who had been missing since March 2016. For reasons unknown, her mother filed a missing persons report over four years later, on March 11, 2020. She also provided a DNA sample, which was instrumental for the identification itself. Authorities are currently conducting further investigation into her death. Zachary Wells: In January 2022, a fire broke out in a one-story home in southwest Atlanta. Firefighters from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department responded to the scene where they worked to contain the heavy fire and smoke that had engulfed the home. Once the fire was contained, investigators assessed the damage and found one victim among the debris. In the course of the investigation, a candidate family member volunteered to help rule out the possibility that the victim could be related to them and tested against the profile, using KinSNP® rapid familial testing. Investigators then confirmed that the victim of the fire was 59-year-old Zachary Wells, born and raised in Atlanta, GA. Suzanne "Susan" Gale Poole AKA "Singer Island Jane Doe": In June 1974, deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office discovered the skeletal remains of a young girl in a swampy area of Singer Island. The girl was tied up with wire to mangroves. She was described as a white female between the ages of 14 and 25. This decedent was estimated to be 4'11 to 5'2 tall and weighed about 83 to 103 pounds. Over the years many attempts were made to identify this girl including the creation of a DNA profile for CODIS in 2015 and of a facial reconstruction in 2019, however all these efforts proved to be fruitless. In December 2021, the Sheriff's Office sent the skeletal remains to Othram in order to perform genetic genealogy on them. In March 2022, Othram's in-house genealogy team sent investigate leads back to the agency. The Sheriff's Office used these leads to contact potential family members and collect DNA samples from them. On June 2, 2022, the girl was identified as 15-year-old Suzanne "Susan" Gale Poole of Fort Lauderdale who had been reported missing in 1972, right before Christmas. It is suspected that Poole is a potential victim of serial killer Gerald John Schaefer because several of his confirmed victims were also tied up in mangroves. Authorities are currently conducting further investigation into her murder. Blaine Has Tricks AKA "Snohomish County John Doe (1977)": In September 1977, a bulldozer operator discovered human remains of a man in the Marysville Landfill. He was estimated to be a white male between the ages of 20 and 40, 5'6-5'8 tall, and 155-160 pounds with long black hair. Investigators determined that the man died about 2 weeks prior to his discovery. His remains were determined to have originated from business dumpsters in the downtown Seattle area. Several missing persons were ruled out by circumstances or dental records. DNA from the man's femur bone was extracted by the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center in September 2018. In March 2019, the DNA was uploaded to CODIS, but there were no matches. In January 2021, a section of the man's femur bone was sent to Othram in order to extract DNA from it. In April 2021, Othram successfully extracted sufficient DNA for testing and proceeded to develop a DNA profile that could be uploaded to genealogical databases. The man was determined to be predominantly Native American through the DNA profile. The Snohomish County Medical Office were able to find a match through a grand niece level of the man's family tree. On June 16, 2022 the man was identified as Blaine Has Tricks, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Blaine was born on May 31, 1939 and was 38 years old at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen in 1977 when he boarded a train with his brother Clayton "Ross" Has Tricks bound for Spokane, Washington. Ross returned home to North Dakota, but Blaine was never heard from again and wasn't reported missing. Old newspaper records place Blaine in Spokane Washington around February 1977 and it's unknown when or how he came to Seattle. The investigation in his murder is ongoing. Alice Lou Williams AKA "Beckler River Jane Doe (2009)": In October 2009, U.S Forest surveyors discovered the partial cranium of a woman in a steep forested ravine near Beckler Road north of Skykomish, Washington. She was estimated to be over 40 years old, but her race and other physical characteristics couldn't be determined due to the scant amount of skeletal remains found and the incomplete cranium. The woman was determined to have died at least one year to several decades prior to being discovered. Her death was classified as suspicious due to the presence of trauma and the location where the cranium was found. In March 2010, a small portion of the woman's cranium was sent to the FBI in Quantico, Virginia for DNA extraction in order to upload it to CODIS. The FBI managed to obtain mtDNA and STR samples both of which were uploaded to CODIS, but no matches were found there. Over the years, the STR profile was used to rule out several missing women. The DNA Doe Project and DNA Solutions attempted to extract DNA in 2017 and 2019 respectively, however all efforts were.unsuccessful either due to contamination or DNA samples being insufficient for testing. In June 2021, Othram was contacted to perform genetic genealogy on the woman's cranium. In March 2022, Othram managed to obtain a DNA sample that was sufficient enough for a DNA profile. The Snohomish County Medical Office uploaded the DNA profile and found multiple close matches. On June 16, 2022, the woman was identified as Alice Lou Williams. Missing person reports filed in Snohomish County show that Williams disappeared under suspicious circumstances in July 1981 from her recreational cabin at Lake Loma located five miles northwest of Marysville, Washington. The investigation into her death is ongoing. Joyce Marilyn Meyer Sommers AKA "Christmas Tree Lady": In December 1996, a groundskeeper at Pleasant Valley Memorial Park Cemetery in Annandale, Virginia found a woman's body. She was found in a section designated for infant burials, but wasn't near a particular grave. The woman was estimated to be a white female with red or copper hair between the ages of 50-70 years old and was approximately 5 feet tall. The woman was found with a plastic bag over her head, along with two fifty dollar bills, one for the coroner and one for the cemetery. A note was found with her body that stated: "Deceased by own hand...prefer no autopsy. Please order cremation with funds provided. Thank you. Jane Doe". The woman's autopsy report showed that she had alcohol and valium in her system when she died. Investigators suspected that the woman committed suicide and the official cause of death was determined to be suffocation. She was given the name of "Christmas Tree Lady" because of a small 8 inch Christmas tree that was found next to her. Over the years, numerous missing person reports from the National Capital Region were compared to the decedent's physical description, but no matches were found. A colorized sketch of the decedent was made in 2000 in hopes that a friend or family member would recognize her, but no leads were produced. In January 2022, detectives of the Fairfax County Police Department sent physical evidence to Othram where its scientists created a genealogical profile for the decedent. In May 2022, investigative leads were returned to the detectives who used them to find a suspected family member which led to more family connections across the country. A DNA sample from a close relative confirmed a match eventually leading to the decedent's siblings. On July 7, 2022, the "Christmas Tree Lady" was formally identified as 69-year-old Joyce Marilyn Meyer Sommers. Meyer was born in July 1927, the eldest of 5 siblings and was raised on a farm outside of Davenport, Iowa. Family members believe she moved to Virginia sometime after the mid-1980's. Meyer wasn't reported missing at the time of her death, but family members spent years looking for her and even hired a private detective at one point. It was determined that Meyer never had children.