Buffalo Police Department & FBI Team with Othram to Identify a 1988 Jane Doe

After 36 years, a woman whose remains were discovered in Buffalo, New York, has been identified as Sonya Yvette Archie, who was missing since 1988.

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Published July 10 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In March 1989, the remains of an unidentified individual were discovered at Kensington Avenue and Pauline Place in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo lies in western New York at the eastern end of Lake Erie. The Buffalo Police Department responded to the scene. It was determined that the remains were that of a female, who was believed to be of Native American or Hispanic descent. The woman was between the ages of 20 and 25 years old, stood 5’1”, and weighed 100 pounds. At the time of the woman’s discovery, she was wearing a "Coqui" branded sweatsuit outfit with blue pants and a long sleeved blue and gray striped top labeled "zipcode". Underneath the pants was a pair of medium white thermal long underwear.

In July 2014, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP12703. Despite extensive efforts by law enforcement investigators to identify the woman no matches were found, and the case went cold due to a lack of viable leads.

In 2022, the Buffalo Police Department submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the forensic evidence and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the woman. After successfully completing the process, the DNA profile was delivered to the FBI's forensic genetic genealogy team, who performed the necessary work to generate new investigative leads in the case.

Using this new information, a follow-up investigation was conducted leading investigators to potential relatives of the woman This investigation led to the positive identification of the woman as Sonya Yvette Archie. Sonya was last seen in September of 1988 and was later reported missing. If you have any information about Sonya Yvette Archie, please contact the Buffalo Police Department Homicide, and Cold Case Squad at 716-851-4511. You may also utilize the confidential tip line at 716-847-2255.

Funding for the advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy used in this case was provided by NamUs, a national clearinghouse 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. NamUs is funded and administered by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and is managed through a contract with Research Triangle Institute International. We are grateful for the support of RTI, NamUs, and the NIJ.

The identification of Sonya Yvette Archie represents the ninth case in the State of New York where officials have publicly identified an individual using technology developed by Othram. Most recently in Suffolk County, New York, Lucie Van Heeckeren, whose remains were discovered off a bicycle path, was identified after a decade.

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 Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.