Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office & Franklin County Coroner's Office Team with Othram to Identify 2022 John Doe

A man whose remains were discovered in a Mesa, Washington reservoir has been identified as Juanes Gaspar of Guatemala.

You can help by contributing funding.

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

Would you like to help solve cases like this one?

You can help by contributing your DNA data here:
Contribute DNA
Published October 05, 2023 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In May 2022, the remains of an unidentified individual were found in Franklin County, in the city of Mesa, Washington. The remains were found near the shore of the Scooteney Reservoir by children who were fishing in the lake. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene and collected the forensic evidence at the scene. The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy of the individual and estimated that the man was less than thirty years old and had short black hair. He likely stood between 5’0” and 5’2”. Due to the condition of the man’s remains, no other identifying characteristics, including his possible biogeographical ancestry, could be determined. It was estimated that the man had died at least months prior to his remains being found. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP91455.

In July 2023, the Franklin County Coroner’s Office and Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office teamed with Othram to leverage advanced DNA testing to determine the identity of the unknown man. Forensic evidence was shipped to Othram’s laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile that could be used for forensic genetic genealogy.

During the investigation, a reference DNA sample from the possible relative was collected for reference testing to compare to the unknown man. The comparison confirmed the relationship between the relative and the unknown man, allowing investigators to identify the human remains as belonging to Antonio Juanes Gaspar of Guatemala. Gaspar, a farm laborer, was in the Othello, Washington area for work. Othello is a short drive from Mesa where Gaspar’s remains were discovered.

The Othello Police Department and the family of Antonio Juanes-Gaspar had reported him missing as of 08/05/21. He was 39 years old at the time that he was reported missing.

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

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.

Similar cases

Read More
Read More
Read More
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.