In January 2023, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office responded to a call from the Atlanta Police Department regarding the discovery of human remains inside a vacant house in Atlanta, Georgia. The house was under construction and had not been visited by construction workers for several weeks, due to the cold weather conditions. Upon arrival at the home, Fulton County Medical Examiner Investigators found an unidentified African-American man. Due to the condition of his remains and the scene, he could not be positively identified.
In March 2023, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office teamed with Othram to use advanced DNA testing to assist in identifying the unknown man. Othram has assisted the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in the identification in other cases, including Zachary Wells and Lola Thomas. Forensic evidence was sent to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists successfully extracted DNA from the unknown man's forensic evidence and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile for the man.
Following an investigative lead from the agency, Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office investigators were able to collect a reference DNA sample from a potential relative of the man. Using KinSNP® rapid familial testing, Othram compared the profile of the unknown man with that of the potential relative profile. This provided supporting evidence that eventually enabled investigators to confirm that the man discovered in the house was Harold Hammons. Harold Hammons was born December 14, 1950 and his manner of death was ruled as natural, with the cause of death being coronary artery disease.