Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office Teams with to Identify a 1999 John Doe

Over two decades later, investigators are still working to identify a man found by a creek in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
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Published May 11, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In January 1999, skeletal remains were discovered near a creek in a Lawrenceville, Georgia floodplain located adjacent to an industrial area. Gwinnett County Medical Examiners determined the remains were that of an unknown Black male who was approximately 25 to 45 years old, with an approximate height of 5’7” to 5’11”. A Forensic Artist with the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office created a composite drawing sketch to depict how the man may have looked during his life.

Investigators determined that the man had likely died elsewhere, and the remains were either buried where they were found, or flooding had carried the remains to the location of discovery. Aside from a striped shirt and a black necktie, no other personal items were found with the man’s remains. Despite extensive efforts to identify the man, his identity remains a mystery.

In April 2022, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP90201. For over two decades, investigators have diligently worked to identify the Gwinnett County, Georgia John Doe, but all leads have been exhausted and the case has gone cold.

In 2023, the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office, as part of a longstanding collaboration with Othram, decided to use advanced forensic DNA testing combined with a genealogical search to help identify the man or a close relative. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Gwinnett County Police Department by calling 770-513-5000 and referencing case number 99-005040.

A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.

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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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.