Alaska Bureau of Investigation and Alaska State Troopers Team with Othram to Identify Fire Island John Doe

The homicide victim, found in 1989 on Fire Island, west of Anchorage, has been unidentified for 32 years

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Published December 01, 2021 by Michael Vogen
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Summary

In the summer of 1989, human remains were found on the northwest shore Fire Island, west of Anchorage. Investigators from the Alaska State Troopers (AST) responded to the scene and collected the remains. An autopsy concluded that the victim was a Caucasian male, estimated to be in his late 30s to 50 years of age. Evidence was found on the remains that indicated the death was criminal in nature. An anthropologist estimated that the remains had been lying exposed on the beach for at least a year, but an approximate date of death could not be accurately determined. All efforts to identify the victim were unsuccessful. The victim’s remains were eventually interned at the Anchorage Municipal Cemetery.

In 2003, hair and tissue samples that had been collected during the autopsy were sent to the FBI Laboratory in Virginia where a DNA profile was developed. The profile was entered into the national missing persons database, but no identification was made.

In 2021, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI) Cold Case Investigation Unit (CCIU) reopened the investigation. Skeletal remains from the victim that had been retained by the State Medical Examiner’s (SME) Office were sent to Othram. Othram scientists were able to extract DNA from the skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile. Genealogy research by Othram and AST indicated that the victim might be Michael Allison Beavers.

Beavers had been reported missing to the Anchorage Police Department (APD) in January 1980, by his spouse. He was last seen alive in late November 1979, when he left his residence in Chugiak to travel by automobile to Seattle, WA, to contact a business associate there. Beavers never arrived in Seattle. No information was developed to indicated what had become of Beavers and the investigation was closed in 1982. In 1992, Beavers was official declared deceased. Beavers was 41 at the time of his disappearance. He was a heavy equipment operator, and he owned an excavation business in the Chugiak area.

ABI investigators located a close blood relative of Beavers’ and obtained a reference DNA sample. Subsequent DNA analysis confirmed that the remains found on Fire Island were in fact those of Michael Beavers. The investigation into this incident is ongoing. If anyone has any information regarding Beavers’ disappearance and murder, please contact the ABI CCIU at (907) 375-7728 or the main ABI number at (907) 269-5611.


Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

(832) 906-4247
8301 New Trails Dr Ste 110, The Woodlands, TX 77381
media@othram.com

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.

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 recovery, 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.

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