MS Office of the State Medical Examiner and Jackson Police Department Team with Othram to Identify 2018 John Doe

Arthur Winters died in a house fire in 2018 but was unidentified for more than four years until advanced DNA testing helped restore his name.

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Published August 26, 2022 by Michael Vogen
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In February 2018, Jackson Fire Department responded to a fire at a rooming house at 1539 W. Capital Street in Jackson, Mississippi. After extinguishing the fire, investigators found the burned remains of an unknown man. Cause of death was determined to be smoke and soot inhalation, however the manner of death is still being investigated. There were no personal effects recovered and no clues at the scene that could provide clues as to who the victim of the fire was. With few leads to pursue, the case eventually went cold.

In April 2022, as part of an ongoing collaboration, Othram teamed up with the Office of the State Medical Examiner and the Jackson Police Department to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing to help generate new leads that might identify the unknown man or his next of kin. Othram built a comprehensive DNA profile from the human remains sent by the Office of the State Medical Examiner. Othram thanks Carla Davis, Mississippi native and genealogist, for funding the work for this case and for the genealogical research that resulted in the investigative leads passed back to law enforcement.

With leads returned to investigators, a potential relative was located and he provided a DNA sample to enable a familial comparison. The results of the familial comparison confirmed that the unknown man, who perished in the fire, was 59-year Arthur Winters. Winters was reported missed by his family. His family stated that they had lost touch with him around June 2017, however, there were no details surrounding his disappearance. He was registered in NamUs as MP76295.

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.

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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 to learn how we can help you with your case. With anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.