Marion County Coroner's Office Partners With Othram to Identify 2017 Indianapolis John Doe

The remains of a man found in 2017 have been identified as Randy Carl Lee, born January 23, 1956.

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Published October 24 by Michael Vogen
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In September 2017, skeletal remains belonging to an unknown person were found in a wooded area behind an Indianapolis, Indiana neighborhood. The remains were located inside an abandoned overturned trailer. Marion County Coroner’s Office launched an investigation. It was determined that the remains belonged to a White male, estimated to be 5’10” in height, and between forty and sixty years old. Orthopedic devices were found on the right radius, right ulna, and left femur. The unknown man was found wearing a dark jacket, blue jeans, black belt, a plaid shirt, and a white shoe. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System as UP17341. With limited information, investigators were unable to determine the identity of the man. He became known as Indianapolis John Doe.

In 2023, the Marion County Coroner's Office submitted forensic evidence to Othram, in hopes that advanced DNA testing could assist with the identification of the unknown man. With evidence in hand, Othram scientists developed a DNA extract from the forensic evidence and then developed a comprehensive DNA profile for the man using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®. Once the profile was successfully built, Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team produced new investigative leads that were provided to investigators at Marion County Coroner’s Office.

Using these leads, law enforcement investigators were able to identify the man as Randy Carl Lee of Greenfield, Indiana. Lee was born January 23, 1956 in Elwood, Indiana. Mr. Lee kept to himself and had last spoken to his family in 2015. Lee’s remains were found approximately seven miles from his address in Greenfield. He was never reported missing.

Marion County Coroner's Office and Othram wish to gratefully acknowledge Audiochuck for funding the analysis in this case. Audiochuck is an Indianapolis-based media company that develops true crime content. This case was funded through a project Audiochuck and Othram have established to help clear unsolved cold cases in Indiana.

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.