Mohave County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify 2021 Golden Valley John Doe

The remains of an unknown man found in Golden Valley, Arizona are now identified as 56-year-old Brian Crain.

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Published April 17, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In January 2021, a private citizen discovered human remains in the community of Golden Valley, Arizona, in the area of Fewey Road and Agua Fria Drive. Mohave County Sheriff's Detectives were dispatched to the scene with assistance from the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigators could not determine the identity or determine the cause of death for the unknown man. In February 2021, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP77898. With few leads to go on, the case soon went cold.

In February 2023, the Special Investigations Unit Detectives with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, as part of an ongoing collaboration with Othram, decided to utilize advanced forensic DNA testing, in hopes that they might generate new leads in the case. Detectives sent skeletal remains to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the skeletal remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile. The casework costs for this case were funded by Project Grace, a philanthropic initiative to help clear backlogs of unsolved cases. We are very grateful for the funding support for this case.

Othram's in-house genealogy team used the profile in genetic genealogy search to identify new investigative leads. These leads were returned to investigators with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. The leads, along with a follow up investigation, led investigators to a potential relative of the unknown man and the confirmation that the unknown man was 56-year-old Brian Crain from Golden Valley, Arizona. Crain was previously reported missing by a family member in September 2020, after the family had not heard from Crain after several weeks.

Circumstances around the disappearance and death of Crain are under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 928-753-0753 ext. 4288.

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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.