In October 2016, skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area near East Street, in Moss Point, near the Escatawpa River. Investigators determined the skeletal remains belong to a man, likely Caucasian. He was suspected to be in the range of 30-50 years of age at the time of his death. There were no clues to his identity and all leads were quickly exhausted. The case was logged in NamUs as UP17324. The remains were then transferred to the Mississippi State Crime Lab.
As part of an ongoing partnership between the Mississippi State Crime Lab, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, and Othram, the remains were sent to Othram's laboratory. Othram developed a DNA extract from the skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive genealogical DNA profile. Philanthropist Carla Davis, genetic genealogist and founder of DNA Davis, generously funded the casework and performed the genealogical research. The genealogical research identified a possible relative, residing in Michigan. Former investigator and now Instructor Matthew Hoggatt, with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, who assists the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with cold case investigations, contacted the possible relative relative.
Matthew Hoggatt arranged the collection of buccal swabs for DNA confirmation. The buccal swabs were sent to Othram and the biological sibling relationship was confirmed using KinSNP™ rapid familial DNA testing. The unidentified person is now known to be Aaron McGraw, who was born in 1961, and reported missing in May 2015. McGraw had a history of sleeping in the woods and history of mental illness. At this time, foul play is not suspected in McGraw's death.