Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Teams with Othram to Identify 1977 John Doe

After nearly half a century, a man whose remains were found in Granby, CT has been identified as 22-year-old Patrick Andrew Nopper, born January 26, 1955.

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Published March 15, 2024 by Michael Vogen
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In 1977, the remains of an unidentified man were discovered on the side of Enders Road in Granby, Connecticut. The man had long brown/black hair with blonde roots. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail. He had a mustache and goatee with hair that was long enough to be braided. The man was estimated to be 5’7” tall and 140 pounds in weight and he had brown eyes. The man was between 18 and 30 years of age at his time of death. Investigators estimated that only a few days had passed between the man's time of death and time of discovery.

Several scars were present on the man’s body including a vaccination scar on the upper left arm, two irregular comma-shaped scars on the left upper chest, and a round scar over the right knee. Despite the identifying characteristics of the man and law enforcement’s extensive efforts, his identity was never determined. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP10037.

In 2023, as part of an ongoing collaboration aimed at solving the backlog of cold cases in Connecticut, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner partnered with Othram to determine if advanced DNA testing could help to finally identify the remains of the John Doe. Forensic evidence was sent to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas where Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genetic genealogy search to develop new investigative leads that were returned to investigators.

Using these new leads, a follow-up investigation was conducted. This led investigators to Florida where possible relatives of the unidentified man reside. A reference DNA sample was collected and compared to the unknown man's DNA profile to confirm his identity as Patrick Andrew Nopper, who was born January 26, 1955. Nopper was twenty-two years at the time of his death. With no answers about his whereabouts for nearly fifty years, Nopper's remaining family members are grateful to finally have these answers. Nopper's remains will be returned to his family, who have planned a burial in a family cemetery.

If you knew Patrick or have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, you’re asked to contact the Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner by calling 860-679-3980.

The casework costs associated with Othram's testing and investigative research were contributed by donors through a DNASolves® crowdfund. We especially would like to thank Patrick’s sister, Kay, for her generous donation to this case.

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.