Saginaw Police Department and Othram Team to Identify Michigan Teen Found in 1988

The young man, who had died only a few hours before he was found, has remained unidentified for over three decades
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Published February 26, 2021 by Michael Vogen


In October 1988, authorities responded to the call of an unidentified body in Saginaw, Michigan. When they arrived at the scene, they found the body of a young African American man who had died only hours prior.

The young man had brown eyes and black hair, stood 5’7’’ tall and weighed 165 pounds. He sported a slightly raised mohawk with a fade on the sides and had a very light mustache. At the time of his death, the victim was wearing a green-yellow t-shirt, black jeans, white Nike Air tennis shoes, and two gold chains. He had some birthmarks on his abdomen and several keloid scars on both knees and on his right shoulder.

In an effort to aid the young man’s identification, multiple forensic depictions were created over the years by forensic artists from both Michigan State Police and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The unidentified male matched no missing persons cases in the area at the time of his death. Investigations by the Saginaw Police Department revealed that the young man was connected to Detroit but could possibly have been from out of state. Despite their efforts to share his description and unearth his identity, no one came forward to claim the young man.

The Saginaw Police Department has partnered with Othram, Inc. to use advanced DNA testing to establish an identification of, or to find nearest kin to the decedent. Anyone with information about the decedent is encouraged to contact the Saginaw Police Department at 989-759-1235. A fund has been established to cover the costs of testing for this case. This case is logged in NamUs as #UP9891.

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The Saginaw Police Department shares an update on possible ties to Detroit.

March 24, 2021

Investigators have shared an update today that the young man may have attended either Martin Luther King High School or Thomas M. Cooley High School in Detroit, MI prior to and/or during 1988. While Detroit is one possible city, other locations are not being ruled out at this time.

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.