Mohave County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify a 2021 Golden Valley John Doe

An unidentified man found in 2021 has been identified as 60-year-old Christopher Canning of Golden Valley, Arizona.

You can help by contributing funding.

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

Would you like to help solve cases like this one?

You can help by contributing your DNA data here:
Contribute DNA
Published August 02 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In October 2021, skeletal remains were discovered by hikers in a remote desert area near Pioneer Drive and Laguna Road in Golden Valley, Arizona. Golden Valley is situated in the Sacramento Valley, approximately ten miles from Kingman, Arizona in Mohave County. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and confirmed that the remains were human. The skeletal remains were transferred to the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation. While the biological sex of the individual was determined to be male, due to the condition of the remains, other identifying characteristics such as height, weight, and ethnicity could not be determined. In 2022, details of the unidentified person case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP89640. There were few leads to work from, and despite investigators’ efforts, the man could not be identified.

In March 2023, Detectives with Mohave County Sheriff Office's Special Investigations Unit (SIU), as part of an ongoing collaboration with Othram, requested assistance in identifying the unknown man. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the skeletal remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile. Othram’s in-house genealogy team worked with the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) at the Mohave County Sheriff's Office to generate new investigative leads in the case.

A follow-up investigation ultimately led to the identification of the unknown man. He is now identified as 60-year-old Christopher Canning of Golden Valley, Arizona. Canning was reported missing by a family member on May 15, 2021, five months prior to his remains being discovered. Canning’s official cause of death is undetermined; however, foul play is not suspected.

The costs associated with Othram's testing were generously funded by Project Grace, a philanthropic initiative with a goal to help clear backlogs of unsolved cases. Othram is grateful for the funding support for this case and several other Mohave County cases recently worked by Othram including the identifications of Jordan Victor Carvalho and Brandon Ray Parlanti.

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

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.

Similar cases

Read More
Read More
Read More
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.