Northampton County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify a Man found in 1995

An unknown man, found in 1995, was unidentified for decades until advanced DNA testing revealed his identity

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 December 10 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In December 1995, metal detectorists were exploring the area near the Roanoke River in the Garysburg (Northampton County) North Carolina area. They came upon what they thought was a large smooth stone. After picking it up, they discovered that it was a human skull. They called the Northampton County Sheriff's Office. Officers responded and upon a closer examination of the area found an intact skeleton. The skeleton was covered with a thin layer of soil and leaves. It was clothed in a pair of brown pants and a dark coat. The North Carolina SBI was notified who sent agents to the location and assisted the Sheriff's Office with exhuming the remains.

The remains were transported to the North Carolina State Medical Examiner's Office in Raleigh where an examination was performed. The medical examiner determined that the deceased was an approximately 60 - 70-year-old, African American male, 5 foot 9 and would have weighed approximately 150 - 170 pounds. It was determined that the person had been deceased two to three years. All possible missing persons in the area were ruled out. In 2013, a DNA extraction was performed and the information was loaded into the NamUS database as UP2794. No matching results were found. In December of 2018, Lieutenant Investigator Alan Roye of the Northampton County Sheriff's Office took over the case.

In September 2019, portions of the skeletal remains were sent to Othram for further advanced DNA testing, which was funded by the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile from the skeletal remains. With a profile in place, Othram conducted genealogical research funded by the National Center for Missing and Endangered, Inc., Jackson, North Carolina. Othram returned investigative leads to Detective Roye and he made contact with a close family member who told him that he had submitted his DNA because he was doing research to find out more about his family. He stated that the deceased is possibly his grandfather Edward Evans, who was estranged from the family and had not been seen in over thirty years and was never reported missing. He was last seen by grandson Victor Harper in 1982 at their home in Salisbury, Maryland.

A DNA swab was obtained a close family relative and the DNA sample was submitted for comparison. The North Carolina State Bureau of investigation compiled a family tree based on this information. The testing confirmed that the unknown man found in 1995 was, in fact, Edward Evans, the father of Gladys Evans Harper and grandfather of Orlando Harper. According to World War II draft records found; Edward Evans was born on March 16, 1906 in Northampton County North Carolina and was then living in Franklin (Southampton County) Virginia. Investigator Roye is still trying to locate other information about Edward Evans such as family in Northampton County.

Please contact Lieutenant Investigator Alan Roye at , Office: 252-534-2611 ext. 7414 or mobile 252-678-4761.

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.