In October 1994, the remains of an unidentified individual were found buried in a shallow grave in the 5600 block of 47th Street South in Wichita, Kansas. Kansas Gas and Electric Company workers were cleaning ditches and tree rows in the area when they made the discovery. Investigators responded to the scene and determined that the individual was a 20- to 30-year-old white man with auburn/sandy-colored hair. He was 5′8″ to 6′0″ tall. An examination was performed by the Sedgwick County Coroner’s Office and a forensic anthropologist, who determined that the man’s manner of death was homicide.
In 2008, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP2434. In 2021, the FBI and the Smithsonian Institute’s Department of Anthropology worked to create a computer-enhanced facial reconstruction of the man to depict how he may have looked during his life. The composite sketch was released to the public in hopes that new leads would be generated in the case and the man could be identified. Unfortunately, the identity of the man remained a mystery.
In 2022, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the evidence and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the homicide victim. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genetic genealogy search to develop new investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement.
Using these new leads, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s detectives conducted a follow-up investigation and made contact with a potential relative of the decedent. This investigation led to the identification of the homicide victim as Harold “James” Crawford, born January 11, 1973. James, a resident of Wichita, was 21 years old at the time of his death.
If you knew James or have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, you’re asked to contact the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. You can call the Cold Case Hotline at 316-660-3799, Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111 or send an email to email@example.com.
The services provided by Othram for this case were funded by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). NamUs is a national clearinghouse funded and administered by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and managed through a contract with RTI International that assists the criminal justice community with the investigation and resolution of missing, unidentified, and unclaimed persons cases across the United States and its territories. We are grateful to RTI, NamUs, and the NIJ for the support.