In May 2018, skeletal remains from an unknown man were found scattered in a wooded area near 145 Highway 80 near Meridian, Mississippi. The man was found without identification documents and there were few clues to who he might be. Investigators were unable to determine the ancestry of the unknown man, but they estimate that he might have been between 5’3” and 6’1” feet. The case was entered into NamUs as UP79041, but with little to go on, the case soon went cold.
In 2021, the Mississippi State Medical Examiner's Office and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation teamed with Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing to help generate new leads that might identify the unknown man or a member of his family. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram’s laboratory, DNA was extracted, and a genealogical profile of the unknown man was built. The funding to support this case was provided by Mississippi native and philanthropist, Carla Davis. Carla also executed the genealogical research necessary to generate investigative leads for the agency. Investigators used the leads to complete their own investigation and confirm that the unknown man was in fact, David E. Reed, a Navy veteran born in 1951.
An investigation continues into David's death. Updates will be posted as we learn more. Anyone with information about this case should contact Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Agent Christa Groom at 1-228-234-1525.
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 recovery, 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.