Mississippi Office of the State Medical Examiner and MBI Team with Othram to Identify a 2022 John Doe

A man, whose remains were found by a homeowner in 2022 in Oxford, Mississippi, has been identified as James Wadley.

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Published April 03, 2024 by Michael Vogen
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In January 2022, the partial skeletal remains of an unidentified individual were discovered in Lafayette County, Mississippi. The discovery was made when a homeowner's dog brought a human skull to their residence located just northeast of Oxford, Mississippi on the east side of Highway 7. Investigators arrived at the scene and were told this address is approximately a quarter mile from the location where the homeowner's uncle had gone missing six years previously. Investigators determined that the individual was a black male between the ages of 45 and 65 years. No other identifying characteristics could be determined. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP92933.

In 2023, the Mississippi Office of the State Medical Examiner once again submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas to determine if advanced DNA testing could help identify the man. Funding to support this case was provided by Mississippi native and philanthropist Carla Davis, who is committed to resolving the backlog of cold cases in Mississippi. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the forensic evidence, and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive genealogical profile for the unknown man. Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team then used this profile to conduct extensive genetic genealogy research, ultimately providing new investigative leads to law enforcement.

A follow-up investigation led law enforcement to potential relatives of the unknown man. Additional DNA reference testing was performed, confirming the identity of the man as James Wadley, born in 1950. The circumstances around Wadley’s death are not available at this time.

The identification of James Wadley represents the 23rd case in the State of Mississippi where officials have publicly identified an individual using technology developed by Othram. Most recently, Luther Ezell was identified. If you have any information regarding this investigation, please contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations at 888-827-4637, referencing case number ME22-0461.

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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 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.