Lincoln County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office Team with Southeast Missouri State University and Othram to ID 1984 Human Remains

A unidentified man found near a farm in Missouri is still unidentified after 38 years
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Published April 07, 2022 by Michael Vogen
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In June 1984, skeletonized human remains were discovered in a farm outbuilding near Troy, Missouri. Analysis performed at the time of recovery suggested that these were the remains of an adult male of European ancestry, between 40 and 80 years old at the time of death. He likely stood between 6’ to 6’2” and was dressed in expensive, formal clothing. The cause of death was a gunshot wound, and the manner of death was determined to be homicide. It was estimated that he had been deceased for approximately 6 months. Traditional forensic DNA testing was used to search CODIS, but no match was found. Over the years, investigators pursued all available leads in an attempt to identify the victim, but in spite of all this, the unknown homicide victim is still unidentified nearly 38 years later.

Now, in 2022, Southeast Missouri State University anthropology students, supervised by Dr. Jennifer Bengtson, will inventory the remains and attempt to refine the age-at-death estimate. They will develop plans for isotope testing and forensic artwork, which they will implement to support the ongoing investigation. Dr. Bengtson’s students will also use published guidance and non-destructive chemical analyses to select the best skeletal evidence to submit to Othram for Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing. Othram will attempt to build a comprehensive genealogical profile that can be used to generate new leads to the unknown man’s identity or at least to the identity of a family member. Meanwhile, Dr. Bengtson’s students will be introduced to records research by searching missing persons databases and public records for potential matches. Results of these analyses will be delivered to the Lincoln County law enforcement agency for further investigation.

This work is being funded in large part by the Southeast Missouri State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Harryette Campbell Endowed Anthropological Fund.

Anyone with information about this case should contact Lieutenant Amy Tippett of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. Lieutenant Tippett can be reached at 636.462.6470. For more information on the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, visit their website at

A DNASolves fund has been established to raise funding for the laboratory testing and the cost of research. This case is listed in NamUs as #UP5012.

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 to learn how we can help you with your case. With anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.