In June 2000, a Winter Park, Florida citizen reported finding a human skull at their Orange County apartment community. Detectives with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. A search of the area was conducted, and additional skeletal remains, as well as clothing, were found partially buried in a nearby vacant lot. Upon examination, forensic anthropologists determined that the remains were that of a white male between the ages of 40 and 60 years. The man’s remains had been buried for approximately seven to eight years prior to discovery. Investigators concluded that the man had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled as a homicide.
No identifying characteristics were available for the homicide victim, and he became known only as “John Doe”. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP528. Despite law enforcement’s exhaustive efforts, the man could not be identified, and the case went cold.
In August 2022, the Orange County Sheriff's Department submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a DNA extract from a partial subsampling of skeletal remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Othram’s in-house genealogy team used the DNA profile in conjunction with forensic genetic genealogy to produce new investigative leads, which were returned to law enforcement investigators.
Using these new leads, law enforcement conducted a follow-up investigation. This follow-up investigation led to relatives of the unidentified man. Follow up confirmation DNA testing then enabled investigators to formally identify the unknown man as Paul Laurence “Larry” Rougeux, Jr., who was born October 29, 1951. Rougeux was raised in the Winter Park area and was a graduate of Orlando’s Colonial Park High School. Mr. Rougeux was approximately 40 years old at the time of his murder.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with any information that could help solve the murder of Larry Rougeux to contact Detective Lowen at 407-254-7000. To remain anonymous, you may call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).