In September 1984, the partial remains of an unidentified individual were found near the area of 5000 East Trent Street in Spokane, Washington. Police recovered the individual's remains and turned them over to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office for investigation and identification. It was determined that the remains were that of a male. Based on the evidence recovered at the scene, no identifying characteristics or other information could be determined for the individual.
Details of the case were uploaded to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP93149. With few leads to follow, the case went unsolved. For nearly four decades, the person’s identity was a mystery.
In 2022, the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office once again teamed with Othram to use advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy to identify the unknown individual. Forensic evidence was sent to Othram's laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a DNA extract that was used with Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genetic genealogy search to develop new investigative leads that were returned to the Spokane Medical Examiner's Office. These leads along with a follow up investigation enabled the agency to locate the man's family and confirm his identity. Out of respect for the family's wishes, investigators have not released the man's name.
In August 2022, the Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office received American Rescue Plan funds to help identify human remains using forensic genetic genealogy. Using these funds, the Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office has teamed with Othram on multiple cases, including the recent identifications of Clifford Wayne Bippes, Juanes Gaspar, and Bruce Frank Sherman. We are grateful for their willingness to collaborate and desire to solve these cases.