In July 2023, the Atlanta Police Department completed to a welfare check at a southwest Atlanta, Georgia home where they located the remains of a woman. The Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department also responded to the scene and confirmed the death. The woman could not be identified due to the advanced state of decomposition. The unidentified woman’s remains were transferred to Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office for investigation and identification.
As part of an ongoing collaboration with Othram to close unsolved cases, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office once again partnered with Othram to identify the unknown woman. Forensic evidence was sent to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the evidence and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unidentified woman.
In the course of the investigation, a possible family member contributed a reference DNA sample to help determine if the victim could be a genetic relative. The family member's DNA was compared to the unidentified woman's DNA profile using KinSNP® rapid familial testing. Using this information in conjunction with a follow up investigation, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office was able to confirm the identity of the woman as 75-year-old Arlene Woods, born July 13, 1947. No foul play is suspected, however the cause and manner of death are still undetermined. An investigation into her death continues.
The funding for this casework was generously provided by Audiochuck and we are very grateful for their support on this case and many others.