In August 2014 a backpacker was hours into a hike through the Welcome Creek Wilderness, above Bidwell Gulch, when he came across human skeletal remains. The Granite County Sheriff was promptly notified and began an investigation. Investigators determined the remains most likely belonged to a white male, around age 30 to 45 and 6’ 0” at the time of his death. Granite County John Doe had hiking gear surrounding him where he was found. Included amongst his belongs were Dramamine tablets, dated between 2011-2013, Rocky Snake size 10/11 boots, a SOG sheath knife, and a CVS Pharmacy medication bottle. There were few other clues available. A search of dental records did not return a match. Likewise, an STR profile built from the skeletal remains did not return a match in CODIS.
In 2021, the Granite County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Othram, Inc. to help identify Granite County John Doe or his next of kin. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile of the unknown man. After returning investigative leads back to law enforcement, the Montana State Crime Lab conducted DNA testing of close family to confirm that Granite County John Doe's identity was in fact David Jon Milek. David was originally from Dallas, Texas. He was 32 years of age, when he was last seen in 2011 by his family.
Cause of death remains unclear and the investigation continues. Anyone with information that might aid the investigation is encouraged to contact the Granite County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 859-3251. Please refer to case number 214CR0001677. This case was funded in part by DNASolves crowdfunding and a generous contribution by Audiochuck. We are grateful to Audiochuck and everyone else that helped fund the work necessary to reconnect David Milek back to family.
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. Visit dnasolves.com to learn how anyone can make a difference in helping solve the next cold case.