In March 2019, a woman contacted police and told them she remembered a body was buried in plastic bags in the backyard of a home on 115th St. near Jamaica Ave. Investigators quickly visited the location and collected the partial remains of an unknown male homicide victim. Investigators found a pelvis and part of a torso under concrete. The body was dismembered at the neck, shoulders and hips. Efforts were made through traditional methods, including STR testing, to identify the man but did not turn up any leads.
With all leads exhausted the Queens DA's office, in conjuction with the NYC FBI office and the NYPD, contracted Othram to use advanced DNA testing to produce new leads in the case that might lead to the identity of the homicide victim or at least a close family member. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram and Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and proprietary human enrichment techniques to build a comprehensive genealogical profile. The DNA profile was returned to the NYC FBI office. NYC FBI special agents, Adrienne Corson and Laurie Giordano, used the DNA profile to perform an exhaustive genealogical search and to build out family trees for genetic matches. The special agents then narrowed in on the unknown man's identity and returned these leads to the Queens DA's office. The investigation eventually revealed that the unknown man was George Seitz, a World War I veteran who went missing in December 1976. He was last seen leaving his home in Jamaica, NY on his way to get a haircut, according to prosecutors.
Further investigation by law enforcement revealed Martin Motta as the suspect in Seitz's murder. Prosecutors from the Queens DA's office have indicted Motta for the crime.
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.