In September 2019, a rancher working cattle on his Texas ranch found what appeared to be a human skull. He contacted the Ector County Sheriff's Office and investigators responded to the scene, conducting a search over several days. Investigators found a partial skeleton consisting of a skull, jaw, teeth, and pelvic and femur bone fragments. The skeletal remains were sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office for examination and were confirmed to be human in origin and from a male. Assessment of the skeletal remains suggested that death might have occurred 2-5 years prior to their discovery.
There were few clues to the unidentified man's identity. Found near the skeletal remains were a blue mid top Adidas shoe, Carhartt black/brown reversible belt, tan Signature taper by Levi Strauss pants, a 2002 Audi flip key fob and a black hair tie. ECSO Investigators, working with the Texas Rangers Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program, pursued all available leads, including STR testing to try and identify the man.
After a thorough investigation, Ector County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers contracted Othram to use advanced DNA testing to attempt to generate leads to this unknown man's identity. In February 2021, Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a comprehensive genealogical profile from the unknown man's skeletal remains. The Othram genealogy team used this profile to generate investigative leads that were then returned to Ector County Sheriff's Office investigator Corinna McMeans. After an exhaustive investigation in which investigators contacted a potential family member, Othram used KinSNP™ rapid familial testing to help confirm the relationship of a close relative.
Through the combined efforts of the Ector County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Rangers, and Othram, investigators were able to confirm that the remains were those of Timothy Daniel Gomez. Now, investigators are seeking further help on this case. If you know anything regarding the case, please contact ECSO Investigator Corinna McMeans at 432-335-3050, Texas Ranger J. Strain at 432-498-2120 or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS (8477).
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.