Lyon County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify 2017 Neosho Rapids John Doe

Investigators are looking to identify a skull found along the banks of the Neosho River
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Published February 13, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In April 2017, the Lyon County Sheriff's Department responded to a call that a skull had been found along the banks of the Neosho River following a period of recent rain in Lyon County, Kansas. Upon processing the scene, law enforcement located the skull and also discovered a large black trash bag that contained the individual's remaining body parts wrapped inside of a fitted bed sheet and comforter. A digital watch was also found inside of the trash bag. While the discovered remains were skeletonized, investigators were able to determine the man's hair color was blonde, white, or gray and approximately 6 to 8 inches long. Additionally, it was estimated that the middle-to-late aged man, who had scoliosis, was 5'5" tall at his time of death. The unknown man's year of death was likely between 2013 and 2016. The ancestry of the individual could not be accurately determined.

In August 2017, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP16928. Over the past five and a half years, investigators have diligently worked to identify the Neosho Rapids, Kansas John Doe. However, the identity of the man remains unknown.

In 2023, Lyon County Sheriff's Department investigators partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing will help to identify the man. Othram will work to develop a comprehensive DNA profile using Forensic Grade Genomic Sequencing®. The resulting profile will be used in genealogical research in hopes of identifying the man or a close relative. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Lyon County Sheriff's Department by calling 620-341-3205 and referencing agency case L17-04-164LY or NamUs ID #UP16928.

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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.