Batavia Police Department and the Kane County Coroner’s Office Team with Othram to Identify 1978 Jane Doe

Nearly five decades later, investigators continue their efforts to identify partial skeletal remains found behind a wall in a Batavia, Illinois apartment.
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Published December 20, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In November 1978, the skeletal remains of an unknown individual were discovered by a couple who were remodeling an apartment on Wilson Street in Batavia, Illinois. Batavia is located in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. The resident advised police that a bone had fallen from within the wall while removing a baseboard. Upon further investigation, the Batavia Police Department recovered additional skeletal remains behind the same wall.

The individual’s remains were sent to the anthropology department at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois where it was determined that the remains were that of a female estimated to be in her mid-twenties at the time of her death. The Illinois Geological Society at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign also assisted in the investigation.

Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP90186. Despite the efforts of investigators, the case went cold, and the woman was classified as Jane Doe. Law enforcement is now seeking to utilize DNA technology, unavailable in 1978, in hopes of providing new leads about the woman’s identity.

In 2023, the Kane County Coroner’s Office and Batavia Police Department teamed with Othram to leverage advanced DNA testing and genetic genealogy. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Batavia Police Department at 630-454-2500 and reference case number 78-5090.

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.