Montgomery County Forensic Services Partners with Othram to Identify Montgomery County John Doe

An older man found in the water reservoir in 2016 had no identification or clues to his identity

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Published February 11, 2021 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In October 2016, the remains of a man, described as middle-aged or older and white or possibly Hispanic/Latino, were recovered from a parkside reservoir in The Woodlands, Texas. No evidence or information was found that could point investigators to his identity.

Montgomery County Forensic Services attempted to identify the man using fingerprints and CODIS testing, but traditional approaches were unsuccessful in producing any further leads. Medical hardware was identified on the remains; however, no records were found with the vendor or local hospitals. A press release issued through the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office failed to generate any leads. After exhausting available identification methods, including initial DNA testing, the case was logged in NamUs as UP15919.

In late 2020, Montgomery County Forensic Services partnered with Othram to develop new leads in the case. Using data collected through previous DNA testing efforts for the case, scientists at Othram performed forensic restoration of the existing data, and constructed a new genealogical profile in order to find potential genetic relatives of the unknown man. Working from distant genetic matches (beyond second cousin) and through Mennonite and French Canadian familial records, Othram’s internal research team produced a new lead for investigators. Together with Othram, Taylor Nichols and Dr. Kathryn Pinneri at Montgomery County Forensic Services confirmed the identity of the unknown man as James Edward St. Peters, providing closure for the family.

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.

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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.