In November 1980, 21-year-old Karen Umphrey was found murdered in the State Game Area of Beards Hills, Michigan near Port Huron. Port Huron is the county seat of St. Clair County. The identity of the person responsible for Karen’s death was not known and despite investigators attempts to identify the killer, the case went cold. For more than four decades, investigators continued their pursuit to identify the person responsible for Karen’s death.
In 2022, the Michigan State Police submitted forensic DNA evidence from the crime scene to Othram. A comprehensive DNA profile belonging to an unknown contributor was developed by Othram and forensic genetic genealogy was used to develop new investigative leads in the case. Using these new leads, the Michigan State Police who worked with St. Clair County Sheriff Department investigators to identify 70-year-old Douglas Laming of Fort Gratiot, Michigan as a suspect in Umprhey's murder. Laming was arrested on December 15, 2023 and was charged with first-degree murder. At the time, it was not publicly announced that DNA belonging to another contributor was discovered at the crime scene.
In 2023, the Michigan State Police submitted the additional forensic DNA evidence from the 1980 crime scene to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. A second DNA profile belonging to the second unknown suspect was developed using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the genealogical profile to produce new investigative leads. The leads were returned to the Michigan State Police who continued their investigative work with St. Clair County Sheriff Department officials to identify the second suspect in the murder of Karen Umphrey. This follow up investigation led to the identification of 63-year-old Anthony Harris.
Harris was arrested on February 6, 2024 . On February 7, 2024, Harris was arraigned and charged with open murder in Port Huron's 72nd District Court for his alleged involvement in the death of Karen Umphrey. Harris' bond was set at $2,000,000.