Mississippi Office of the State Medical Examiner and MBI Team with Othram to Identify 1980 John Doe

The remains of a man discovered in Mississippi have been identified as Luther Marion Ezell, born December 1, 1913.

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Published April 03 by Michael Vogen
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In June 2022, the partial skeletal remains of an unknown individual were transferred into the custody of the Mississippi Office of the State Medical Examiner. It is believed that the remains were likely discovered in 1980. The only identifying characteristics that could be determined were that the individual was a male who stood between 5’4” and 6’1” feet tall and was between the ages of 30 and 50 years.

In 2023, the Mississippi Office of the State Medical Examiner submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas to determine if advanced DNA testing could help identify the man. Funding to support this case was provided by Mississippi native and philanthropist Carla Davis, who is committed to resolving the backlog of cold cases in Mississippi. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the forensic evidence, and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive genealogical profile for the unknown man. Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team then used this profile to conduct extensive genetic genealogy research, ultimately providing new investigative leads to law enforcement.

A follow-up investigation led investigators to genetic relatives of the unknown man. DNA reference testing was performed, confirming the identity of the man as Luther Marion Ezell, born on December 1, 1913. Ezell left his home in California to travel to Arkansas and was last heard from in the April of 1980. Ezell helped build the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in China Lake, California as well as the California freeways. He loved to fish at Lake Isabella, was married to his wife Ethel, a father to six children, and grandfather to fifteen grandchildren. Ezell's surviving daughters are grateful to finally have their Daddy home after 44 years.

The identification of Luther Marion Ezell represents the 22nd case in the State of Mississippi where officials have publicly announced the identification of an individual using technology developed by Othram. Most recently in Hinds County, Gary Lockhart, a war veteran, was identified. If you have any information regarding the Ezell investigation, please contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations at 888-827-4637, referencing case number ME22-5002.

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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 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.