Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office Teams with Othram to Identify a 2022 John Doe

The remains of an unidentified man discovered in Kansas City, Missouri have been identified as Kevin Dewayne Cochran, born October 21, 1987.

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Published February 02, 2024 by Michael Vogen
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In October 2022, the remains of an unidentified individual were discovered on Van Brunt Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene where mostly skeletal remains were found near a gas station on the southeast side of Kansas City, near Interstate 70. It was determined that the remains were that of a white male between the ages of 18 and 29 years. The man was estimated to be between 5’7” and 5’10” tall. He had straight brown hair and reddish colored facial hair.

No other identifying characteristics were available for the man and despite the efforts of investigators, the man could not be identified. The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office entered details of the case into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP96729.

In September 2023, the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas in hopes that advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy could help generate new leads and identify the man. Othram scientists developed a DNA extract from partial skeletal remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Othram’s in-house genealogy team used the DNA profile in conjunction with forensic genetic genealogy to produce new investigative leads, which were returned to investigators.

Using these new leads, a follow-up investigation was conducted. This led investigators to relatives of the unidentified man. Confirmation DNA testing has now enabled investigators to establish the identity of the unknown man as Kevin Dewayne Cochran, born October 21, 1987, and originally from Oklahoma. No further details about Cochran’s death are available at this time.

The casework costs associated with Othram's testing and investigative research were contributed by Project Justice. We are grateful for this funding which allowed us to assist law enforcement in working this case, leading to Cochran’s identification.

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.