Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Teams with Othram to Identify 1985 Homicide Victim

After 38 years, a male homicide victim found in a wooded area, along the LS-9 canal bank, has now been identified as Terry Ketron.

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Published December 27, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In January 1985, children playing in a heavily wooded area discovered unidentified human remains near a canal bank. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) and the Medical Examiner’s Office collected the remains and investigated the scene. The identity of the remains was unknown and the case was ruled a homicide. At the time of discovery, DNA was entered in the FBI's CODIS database, but no match was found. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP830. Multiple forensic facial reconstructions were developed, but none of these images led to the identification of the homicide victim and with leads exhausted, the case eventually went cold.

In 2022, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office sent skeletal remains for the unidentified homicide victim to Othram. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genealogical search to produce investigative leads.

The investigative leads were returned to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and a follow up investigation determined that the 1985 homicide victim is Terry Ketron, born February 12, 1953 and originally from Campbell County, Kentucky. Further inquiry into Mr. Ketron’s background indicated that he traveled to south Florida in the early 1980’s from the State of Kentucky with a female companion named Connie or Bonnie (last name unknown). Ketron last spoke to his family via phone where he shared information that he was having problems with his girlfriend and her family members. Ketron’s family had not heard from him since that phone call and his whereabouts were unknown.

PBSO Cold Case Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance with identifying Terry Ketron’s female companion who traveled with him to Florida or any other friends/associates known to him. Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective John Cogburn at 561-688-4063 or by email at

Funding for the advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy used in this case was provided by NamUs, a national clearinghouse that assists the criminal justice community with the investigation and resolution of missing, unidentified, and unclaimed persons cases across the United States and its territories. NamUs is funded and administered by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and is managed through a contract with Research Triangle Institute International. We are grateful for the support of RTI, NamUs, and the NIJ.

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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.