Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and the District 19 Medical Examiner’s Office Team with Othram to Identify 2022 John Doe

The remains of an unidentified man found in Vero Beach South, Florida are to be identified using advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy.


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Published December 20, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In December 2022, a law enforcement K9 team discovered skeletal remains while investigating an unrelated incident off of 53rd Street in Indian River County, Florida. The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office notified the District 19 Medical Examiner’s Office and an extensive search of the area was conducted, which led to the discovery of numerous other skeletal remains. Forensic anthropologists determined that the remains belonged to a man between the ages of 50 and 60 years. The unknown man was estimated to be approximately 5’9” tall. No other physical characteristics could be determined based on the condition of the remains. With no identifiying information available, the man could not be identified.

In January of 2023, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP98861. Additionally, a Forensic Imaging Specialist with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office created a forensic drawing to depict what the man may have looked like 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's identity could be determined. Despite the efforts of investigators, the identity of the man remains a mystery.

In 2023, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office teamed with Othram in hopes that advanced DNA testing will generate new leads in the case so that the man can be identified. Anyone with information that could aid in the investigation is asked to contact the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office at 772-569-6700 and reference case number 2022-136503 or NamUs #UP98861.

A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here. We are grateful for your support.

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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.