Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify a 1994 Jane Doe

Partial skeletal remains discovered in Tampa, Florida, have been identified using advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy.

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Published March 22, 2024 by Michael Vogen
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In 1994, the partial skeletal remains of a young girl were discovered in Tampa, Florida. The remains were transferred into the custody of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) who took the lead in identifying the unknown girl.

The University of South Florida's Institute for Forensic Anthropology & Applied Science developed a composite sketch and released it to the public in hopes that it would generate new leads in the case. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP61522. Despite two decades of investigative effort, the young girl could not be identified and the case eventually went cold.

In July 2023, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office once again teamed with Othram to determine if advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy could help establish an identity for the unidentified girl or a close relative of the girl. Previously, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Othram worked on a case that, after nearly four decades, led to the identification of U.S. Navy veteran Charles Allen Ray.

HCSO submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas, where Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown girl. Once the profile was successfully built, Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile to generate investigative leads.

These new leads were returned to law enforcement for use in a follow-up investigation, allowing investigators to identify relatives of Jane Doe. This investigation led to a positive identification for the young girl. However, at the request of the family, information about the girl's identity is not being released.

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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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 Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.