St. Louis City Office of the Medical Examiner Teams with Othram to Identify River des Peres John Doe

A man, whose remains were tracked down a creek from Webster Groves to the River Des Peres in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, has yet to be identified.


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Published April 24, 2024 by Michael Vogen
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In July 2020, the Webster Groves Police Department noted and began tracking the remains of an unidentified individual in Deer Creek, near Kirkham Avenue which is located in Webster Groves, Missouri. Webster Groves is a suburb just west of downtown St. Louis. The individual's remains were recovered by the St. Louis Fire Department upon entry into the River Des Peres near Wabash Avenue in the City of St. Louis.

Investigators determined that the remains were that of a white male who stood 5’11” tall and weighed 225 pounds. The man was bald and wore tan cargo shorts and a belt at the time his remains were discovered. The man's manner of death was unclear at the time of his discovery and is still pending.

In September 2020, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP73539. The local media outlets released details about the case in hopes that it would generate leads about the man's identity. Despite efforts to identify the man, no leads have yielded a match and the man’s identity remains a mystery.

In 2023, the St. Louis Office of the Medical Examiner teamed with Othram to leverage advanced DNA testing and genetic genealogy to develop investigative leads in hopes of identifying the man. Anyone with information that could aid in the investigation is encouraged to contact the St. Louis City Medical Examiner at 314-622-4971 and reference case number CITY-2020-1836.

A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here. We are grateful for your support. Various agencies in the state of Missouri have partnered with Othram to identify a number of individuals including the April 2024 identification of 16-year-old Helen Groomes, who went unidentified for nearly 50 years after her body was found in the Mississippi River in 1978.

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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.