Stafford County Sheriff's Office and NCMEC Team with Othram to Identify a 1990 John Doe

After more than three decades, advanced DNA testing finally revealed that Stafford County John Doe was Virginia teen, Timothy Alan Mangum

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Published February 18, 2022 by Michael Vogen
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In September 1990, a human skull was found next to the roadway of Joshua Road in Stafford County Virginia. The skull was discovered by a property owner who then notified the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. It was believed the skull was that of a Caucasian Male, between the ages of 15-18 years old and had been deceased 1-3 years at the time of discovery. His cause of death was undetermined. There was no evidence of trauma to his skull and no other skeletal remains were found. Cause of death was not clear.

Over the years many leads were pursued. A forensic facial reconstruction was commissioned in hopes that someone would recognize the young man. Standard DNA testing was used to search CODIS, but no hits were found. The case was logged into Namus as UP2229. With all leads exhausted, the young man's identity remained a mystery.

In November 2021, Stafford County Detective Dave Wood and the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children teamed up with Othram to use advanced DNA testing to attempt to generate new investigative leads that might point to the man’s identity. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Once built, the Othram genealogy team used the profile to perform a genealogical search and then returned investigative leads to Stafford County Sheriff's Office investigators so they could continue their work.

Othram was able to provide the names of the unknown man's possible father and brother. Detective Wood contacted family members and they were able to provide him with the name Timothy Alan Mangum. DNA samples from the father and brother were sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science and follow up confirmation DNA testing confirmed that the unknown man was Timothy Alan Mangum.

Othram is grateful to Justin Woo for sponsoring the costs associated with the work that Othram did to help identify Mangum.

Investigators believe that Timothy Mangum was last seen alive around 1983-1984, not much is known about the circumstances of his death. Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Wood at the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4727 or email at

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.