Orange County Sheriff's Department & Coroner Division, and the California DOJ Team with Othram to Identify a 2017 Jane Doe

More than six years later, the remains of a woman found at a San Clemente, California construction site have been identified using advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy.

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Published January 23, 2024 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In June 2017, the partial remains of an unidentified individual were found in San Clemente, California at a construction site. Law enforcement responded to the scene, and discovered a human skull that had been found by workers. It was determined that the remains were that of a female estimated to be between the ages of 30 and 50 years. No other identifying information for the individual could be determined.

Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP55049. Despite law enforcement’s efforts, the woman could not be identified, and she became known as San Clemente Jane Doe (2017).

The California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) once again partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing could help establish an identity for the unidentified woman. CA DOJ has previously partnered with Othram on multiple cases, including the identification of Denise Gail Cruz and Rodney Alan Rumsey.

In December 2022, using funding provided by the Roads to Justice (RTJ) program, the Orange County Sheriff's Department & Coroner Division, working in conjunction with the California Department of Justice , submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown woman. Initial analysis revealed that woman's biogeographical ancestry was largely East Asian. Othram’s in-house genealogy team used the DNA profile in conjunction with forensic genetic genealogy to produce new investigative leads, which were returned to law enforcement.

Using these new leads, law enforcement conducted a follow-up investigation. This follow-up investigation led to relatives of the unidentified woman. Follow up confirmation testing then enabled a positive ID. The woman had been reported missing prior to the discovery of her remains. At the request of family, the identity of the woman will not be released at this time.

Today, there are almost 15,000 unidentified human remains cases in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). NamUs is a national clearinghouse funded and administered by the National Institute of Justice and managed through a contract with RTI International 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.

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.