MS Office of the State Medical Examiner and Harrison County Coroner's Office Team with Othram to Identify 2017 John Doe

Unidentified human remains near the Tchoutachabouffa River in Biloxi, MS have now been identified as 40-year old Samuel C. Boucher.

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Published August 19, 2022 by Michael Vogen
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In October 2017, the skeletal remains of an unknown man were discovered by a group of boaters near the Tchoutachabouffa River in Biloxi, in an area known as "Hurricane Hole". The discovery was made hours prior to the landfall of Hurricane Nate. Investigators called to the scene recovered partial skeletal remains along with some personal effects including the wallet and driver's license of a man that had been previously reported missing by his family.

Initial anthropological analysis suggested an ancestry that contradicted the known ancestry of the missing man and the recovered remains were insufficient to produce an estimation of the man's height, hair color, and other physical traits. It was also unclear when he had died. The case was entered into NamUs as UP78408. In the last several years, investigators pursued various leads to identify the man. In 2018, an STR profile was developed for the unknown man but it produced no match in CODIS. With all leads exhausted, the case went cold.

In late 2021, as part of an ongoing collaboration, Othram teamed up with the Office of the State Medical Examiner and the Harrison County Coroner’s Office to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing to help generate new leads that might identify the unknown man or his next of kin. Othram built a comprehensive DNA profile from the skeletal remains sent by the Office of the State Medical Examiner. Othram thanks Carla Davis, Mississippi native and genealogist, for funding the work for this case. With a comprehensive profile built, investigators were able to correctly ascertain the unknown man's ancestry and in conjunction with their own investigation were able to confirm that the unknown man was 40-year-old Samuel C. Boucher. Samuel had been previously reported missing by his family.

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.