Stillwater County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify 2019 John Doe

Skeletal remains discovered by hunters in 2019 are now known to belong to 63-year-old Michael Moler, an Army veteran from Montana.

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Published July 10, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In November 2019, the skeletal remains of an unknown person were discovered by hunters in Custer Gallatin National Forest located in south-central Montana's Stillwater County. Investigators with the Stillwater County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, recovering the remains from a remote area near West Rosebud Lake. The remains were transferred to forensic anthropologists for examination. Investigators estimated that the unknown individual was male and between fifty and seventy years old at his time of death. It was estimated that the man was approximately 5.5’ to 6’ in height. No other identifying information for the remains was available.

In 2020, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP65069. Despite their efforts, investigators were unable to identify the man, and the case eventually went cold.

In March 2022, the Stillwater County Sheriff's Office teamed with Othram to identify the unknown man. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram’s laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a DNA extract from the remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. This DNA profile was used by Othram's in-house genetic genealogy team to generate investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement.

After a thorough investigation and assistance from the State of Montana Medical Examiner’s Office, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), and Othram Inc., the remains were identified as Michael Moler. Moler, who was born in Columbus, Montana, on September 19, 1956, was an Army veteran. Moler will be buried at Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel, Montana with military honors. The investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Moler’s death continues. At this time, no foul play is suspected.

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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.