Raleigh Police Department Uses Othram's Genetic Testing Platform to Solve the Assault and Murder of Alma Jones

After 44 years, advanced DNA testing has helped identify Alma Jones’ killer

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Published September 22, 2021 by Michael Vogen
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In December 1977, Alma Jones was found murdered in her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. She lived alone and evidence at the scene indicated she had been brutally raped and murdered.  Despite a thorough investigation, the case remained unsolved. In 2011, Raleigh Police investigators submitted several items of evidence to the NC State Crime Lab.  A male DNA profile was developed from a cigarette butt and semen stain on a blanket which were at the crime scene. The profile for the unknown male was entered in to CODIS but a search produces no matches or leads to the identity of this unknown male.

In 2021, with all other leads exhausted, Raleigh Police investigators secured SAKI funds and approval to use forensic genetic genealogy to generate new leads in the case. The remaining DNA extracts from the crime scene evidence were sent to Othram for testing. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing to produce a comprehensive genealogical profile for the unknown male DNA. This profile was then returned to Raleigh Police investigators, who worked with the Charlotte and Baltimore FBI offices to perform genealogical research.   Genealogical research and subsequent investigation by Raleigh PD and FBI investigators identified the Alma Jones' killer as Paul David Crowder Jr.  The suspect to this crime died on August 18, 2015.

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Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

2829 Technology Forest Blvd Suite 100, The Woodlands, Texas 77381

Michael works with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada on “unsolvable“ cases that can benefit from advanced DNA testing methods. He helps these agencies use cutting edge DNA sequencing and new forensic techniques to develop investigative leads for their cases.

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About Othram Inc.

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at ... Read morerecovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.