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King County Medical Examiner's Office Teams with Othram to Solve the Mystery of "Mary Anderson"

Almost 25 years ago, a woman, who remains unidentified to this day, checked into a Seattle hotel under an assumed name and took her own life
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Published May 04, 2021
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Summary

In Fall 1996, a woman checked into an upscale hotel in downtown Seattle, paid cash, and registered under the name, Mary Anderson. She provided a false number with a NY area code and a false address that featured a NY zip code. Once she checked in, she went to room and reportedly had no further contact with hotel staff or room service. No calls were made from the room. She was eventually discovered when she failed to check out of the room. She was discovered lying on her back, on her bed, with a suicide note mentioning that she had no family and that she did not care what was done with her body. The cause of death was determined to be cyanide poisoning.

There were few clues left at the scene. She had no identifying documents, she paid for the room in cash, and there is speculation she might have removed her dental plate to further obstruct efforts to identify her. Investigators searched databases using dental records and fingerprints. There were no matches. A DNA profile was developed for "Mary Anderson" and searched in the CODIS database, but there were no matches. Local and national media appeals, as well as multiple forensic facial reconstructions have failed, so far, to provide leads.

In 2021, King County Medical Examiner's Office has partnered with Othram to use advanced DNA testing and forensic genealogy to establish an identification of, or to find the closest living relatives to the unknown woman. Funds to support the case are being raised on the DNASolves Crowdfunding platform. The case is also logged in NamUs as UP12916.

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 recovery, 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. Visit dnasolves.com to learn how anyone can make a difference in helping solve the next cold case.

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