Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify a 2006 John Doe

After 18 years, a man whose remains were discovered on timber company property in Fieldbrook, California, has been identified as Freddie Earl Long, born April 13, 1943.

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Published May 29, 2024 by Michael Vogen
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In October 2006, the skeletal remains of an unidentified individual were discovered on privately-owned land in a redwood forest in Fieldbrook, California. Fieldbrook is a town just north of Eureka in Humboldt County. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HSCO) responded to the scene, where they conducted an investigation and concluded that there was no physical evidence to indicate foul play.

HCSO transported the remains to the University of California at Santa Cruz, where forensic anthropologists conducted an examination of the remains. It was determined that the man had a condition known as "surfer's ear" which suggested that he had regular exposure to cold water as it is often observed in divers, surfers, and ocean swimmers. The man had a healed left nasal bone fracture as well as evidence of trauma in multiple cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP17370. No match was found, and the case went cold due to a lack of viable leads.

In 2022, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office submitted forensic evidence to Othram in the Woodlands, Texas to determine if advanced DNA testing could help identify the man. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Upon completion of the process, the profile was transferred to investigators for the development of new leads via a forensic genetic genealogy search.

Using this new information, a follow-up investigation was conducted leading investigators to potential relatives of the man. This investigation led to the positive identification of the man, who is now known to be Freddie Earl Long, born April 13, 1943. Freddie Long, who was 50 years old when he disappeared, was last seen living in the Big Bar, CA area. Long used the alias "Cowboy Fred."

Given the scarcity of information regarding Long's disappearance, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Danielle Vickman at 707-445-7251.

The identification of Freddie Earl Long represents the 37th case in the State of California where officials have publicly identified an individual using technology developed by Othram. Most recently in Lakeport, California, Wanda Lee Brewer who was found in a wooded area off Highway 175.

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.

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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.