Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and State Police Team with Othram to Identify 1983 Hartford County John Doe

An unknown man whose remains were discovered forty years ago in a Connecticut marshland is now known to be Francis Patrick Fitzpatrick, born October 21, 1939, from Springfield, MA.

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Published August 07, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In November 1983, the skeletal remains of a white male were located in Hartford County, Conneticut. A news article published in The Hartford Courant reported in November 1983 that the man’s remains were discovered near the shore of the Connecticut River in Great Meadows, a salt marsh along the coast of Connecticut. The age of the man was estimated to be between 30 and 60 years at his time of death. Investigators determined that the man had likely been deceased for months. Unfortunately, due to the condition of the remains, the cause of death could not be definitively determined.

Several personal items including three General Motors automobile keys and a Sanyo brand digital watch, with a silver stretch band, were found on or near the man’s remains. Additionally, a tan wool jacket, blue shirt, tan pans, with a waist size of 35 inches, a brown belt, black socks, and black loafer-style shoes were found on the body of the man. Aside from these items, there were no identifying documents or clues that could readily identify the man.

In 2011, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as case number UP8901. Since the discovery of the man’s remains, law enforcement investigators have pursued various leads about his identity, but none have yielded an identity for the man. With all leads exhausted, the case eventually went cold.

In 2023, as part of an ongoing collaboration aimed at solving the backlog of cold cases in Connecticut, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner partnered with Othram to generate new leads in the case using advanced DNA testing. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the forensic evidence and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to generate a comprehensive DNA profile. The profile was used by Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team to produce investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement.

The costs associated with Othram's testing and analysis were generously funded by philanthropist and advocate, Jeanne Ayotte. We are incredibly grateful for the support Jeanne provided in this investigation.

Once investigative leads were returned to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, they worked with the State Police to confirm that the unknown man from 1983 was in fact Francis Patrick Fitzpatrick, born October 21, 1939. Fitzpatrick was originally from Springfield, Massachuttes. He was last seen in March of 1983, but his body was never found until now. His death is not being investigated as a homicide.

Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner by calling 860-679-3980 and referencing agency case M-83-428 or NamUs ID UP8901.

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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.