Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department & NC Unidentified Project Team with Othram to Identify 2021 John Doe

The remains of an unidentified man found in Charlotte, NC have been identified as 38-year-old Cody Ray Herrell of South Carolina.

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 June 13, 2023 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In June 2021, human remains were located near the 4200 block of Trailer Drive in Charlotte, North Carolina. The remains were transported to the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office. The decedent was determined to be male and no evidence of trauma was found. Upon discovery of the remains, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) detectives worked to identify the decedent, but were unsuccessful despite their exhaustive efforts. Details of the unidentified person case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP90707.

In June 2022, CMPD detectives requested the assistance of the North Carolina Unidentified Project to identify the unknown man. Dr. Ann Ross, Forensic Anthropologist at North Carolina State University, sent skeletal remains to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®, Othram built a comprehensive DNA profile for the decedent so that forensic genetic genealogy could be performed to provide new leads in an attempt to identify the unknown man.

Forensic Genealogist Leslie Kaufman performed the forensic genetic genealogy for this case. Mrs. Kaufman provided detectives with leads that would subsequently help to identify the decedent. Following these leads, CMPD detectives collected DNA from a potential relative of the decedent for reference testing. In March 2023, CMPD detectives were able to positively identify the unknown decedent as Cody Ray Herrell, who was born February 13, 1983. Herrell was originally from South Carolina, but was known to live on the streets of Charlotte. Cody’s remains have been returned to his family for final arrangements.

Advanced DNA testing for this case was funded by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation.

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