Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner and Othram Team to Identify 1992 John Doe

Over three decades later, investigators are still working to identify a man whose skeletal remains were found in New Haven County, Connecticut

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Published January 13, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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Summary

In August 1992, a couple walking in a wooded area near Oronoque Road in Milford discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified man near railroad tracks. The unknown man’s remains were wrapped in a pink blanket, an olive drab colored blanket, and two green plastic garbage bags. Upon making their discovery, the individuals immediately notified police. The road where the grisly discovery was made was not commonly used for foot traffic.

The unidentified victim, who investigators believe was an Asian male, was estimated to be between 18 and 25 years old at the time of his death. Investigators also estimated that the man stood between 5’3” and 5’6” in height, and that he weighed between 120 and 140 pounds. However, due to the decomposition that had occurred, investigators were unable to make determinations about the man’s eye color or hair color. The man’s remains were almost entirely decomposed and 90% skeletonized, leading investigators to estimate that the man had died a month or two before his bones were found. The cause of death was ruled to be two gunshot wounds to the head.

Investigators believe the man was not from the local area. Four small caliber gray metal bullets were recovered, and investigators concluded that the man was killed elsewhere, and his remains were relocated to the area that they were recovered in. Several items of clothing were also recovered with the body. The items included a long-sleeve button-down shirt with logo "Forever" on the left chest pocket, a size XL 14-16 “Fruit of the Loom” brand vest-type undershirt, a pair of size 27-waist denim pants, a brown belt with yellow metal buckle, and a pair of size 30-32 “Fruit of the Loom” brand white jockey underwear.

Additionally, during an autopsy of the remains, investigators observed that all of the man’s teeth, including his third molars, had erupted, and that no cavities, restorations or abnormalities were identified. Investigators also noted that the man’s incisors did not have a shovel appearance.

Since the discovery of the unknown man’s remains over three decades ago, law enforcement investigators have diligently pursued various leads about his identity. Bullet fragments were pulled from the wounds on the man’s head. Forensic artists, working with medical examiners, put together a sculptured likeness. Investigators connected with other police departments to see if there had been similar crimes committed nearby. Despite the exhaustive efforts of law enforcement, the man’s identity remained a mystery. Later, in September 2011, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP9242, but no matches were found. With few leads for investigators to pursue, the case went cold.

In 2022, the Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing could help establish an identity for the man or a close relative. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner by calling 860-679-3980 and referencing agency case 92-7994 or NamUs ID #UP9242.

A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.

Contribute Now 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
media@othram.com

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 Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.