Seattle Police Department Teams with Othram to Identify 2017 King County John Doe

Advanced DNA testing will be utilized to identify human remains found near Seattle's Four Mile Rock.
Funding complete
Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

Would you like to help solve cases like this one?

You can help by contributing your DNA data here:
Contribute DNA
Published September 08, 2023 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In December 2017 and January 2018, the partial remains of an unknown individual washed ashore near Four Mile Rock in Seattle, Washington. Four Mile Rock is a twenty-foot tall glacially deposited rock located four nautical miles from an early Seattle landmark. It is located near Discovery Park on the shore of the Puget Sound and is fully accessible at low tide. The Seattle Police Department responded to the scene. An autopsy revealed that the remains belonged to a male individual, who was between the ages of 30 and 60 years at his time of death. While the man’s weight could not be determined, it was estimated that the man was between 5’8” and 5’11” in height and he likely died in 2016 or 2017. Investigators found black Adidas brand underwear and black Air Jordan high top tennis shoes on the individual’s body.

After the discovery of the man’s remains, a remote-operated underwater vessel searched the area, but did not find any additional forensic evidence. Despite the extensive efforts of law enforcement, the man’s identity remains a mystery. A forensic reconstruction was created to depict how the man may have looked during his life. Details of the missing person case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons database (NamUs) as #UP17874.

In 2023, the Seattle Police Department teamed with Othram to leverage advanced DNA testing to develop new leads in the case. We are grateful to the Seattle Police Foundation which raised the money to fund advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy costs associated with the case through their own outreach efforts.

Anyone with information that could aid in the investigation is encouraged to contact the Seattle Police Department at 206-684-5555 and reference agency case number 2017-471235.

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.

Similar cases

Read More
Read More
Read More
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.