Carroll County Sheriff’s Office & Virginia State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Teams with Othram to Identify a 2022 Murdered Child

An unidentified murdered child was discovered in a wooded area of Galax, Virginia and is now identified as 5-year-old Logan Nathaniel Bowman.

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Published December 21, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In September 2022, the remains of a child were discovered in Galax, Virginia near Iron Ridge Road. Galax is bounded to the northeast by Carroll County and to the southwest by Grayson County. The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and found the child's body in a trash can that was placed within a wooded area. Investigators determined that the child was white and male, and that he was likely 4 to 7 years old at the time of his death. It was estimated that the child's body was likely in the area for an extended period of time. At the scene, investigators also discovered a gray/blue sleeping bag, a white Winnie the Pooh blanket with pink flowers, and a fragment of orange/pink cloth.

No identifying information could be collected from the scene and therefore law enforcement investigators launched an investigation to determine the identity of the unknown boy. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP99035.

In 2023, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Virginia State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, submitted skeletal remains to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the skeletal remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown child. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genetic genealogy search to develop new investigative leads that were returned to investigators.

In a follow-up investigation, Carroll County Sheriff investigators met with potential genetic relatives of the unknown child. DNA comparison samples collected from two family members were used to establish the identity of the child as Logan Nathanial Bowman of Galax, Virginia. Logan was five years old when he was reported missing from Grayson County, Virginia under suspicious circumstances in January 2003. Although Logan went missing in 2003, his body was not found until 2022. Details of his disappearance were entered into NamUs as MP5868 with notes that Logan had a healing fracture in his left arm from a previous injury, teeth decay, and burn scars on his feet.

Logan’s biological mother, Cynthia Davis, was charged and pled guilty to two counts of child neglect and one count of homicide associated with Logan’s disappearance and presumed death. Davis was sentenced to 20 years for the two counts of child neglect with the sentence suspended and 30 years for homicide with 15 years suspended. The mother's boyfriend, Dennis "Danny" Schmermerhorn, was convicted of one count of child neglect and sentenced to one year in jail. Born February 15, 1997, Logan Nathanial Bowman would have been 26 years old, if alive today.

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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.