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.