Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Teams with Othram to Identify a 2001 Homicide Victim

After 23 years, a man whose remains were discovered in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, has been identified as Temistocle Fernandez Casas of Cuba.

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Published May 29, 2024 by Michael Vogen


In May 2001, the partial skeletal remains of an unidentified individual were discovered in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary responded to the scene. It was determined that the remains were that of a male who had dark, curly shoulder length hair and who was between the ages of 18 and 29 years old at his time of death. The man’s remains were discovered in a wooded area off Minerals Road in Conception Bay South. Investigators worked tirelessly to confirm the man's identity, and he became known as Conception Bay John Doe. It was determined that Conception Bay John Doe’s death was due to homicide.

An isotope analysis was performed and over the years, forensic sketches were developed and released to the public in hopes that it would assist in the identification of the murdered man. Despite extensive efforts by law enforcement investigators to identify the man, no matches were found, and the case went cold due to a lack of viable leads.

In August 2021, in their continued efforts to identify the man, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the forensic evidence, and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive genealogical profile for the homicide victim. Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team then used this profile to conduct genealogy research, ultimately providing new investigative leads to law enforcement.

Using this new information, a follow-up investigation was conducted by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. The genealogical research and subsequent investigation determined that Conception Bay John Doe's ancestry traced to the Iberian Peninsula, which is made up largely by the countries of Spain and Portugal. However, low genetic matches and the lack of historical records complicated the search and development of actionable leads in the case. With genetic relatives traceable to Cuba, reference testing necessary to home in on the identity of the John Doe presented unique challenges. In early 2024, there was a breakthrough in the investigation when a match was made to a first cousin of the man. With this newly-identified relative, potential family members residing in Cuba were identified for interviews and reference testing, leading to the identification of Conception Bay John Doe as Temistocle "Temi" Fernandez Casas.

Casas was originally from Cuba, and went missing in Canada over two decades ago after traveling from Cuba to Quebec City on a tourist visa in April 1992. There is no record of Casas's travels from Quebec City to Newfoundland and Labrador. It is believed that Casas died between 1997 and 1998 and would have been in his early 30s at the time of his death.

With Casas positively identified, investigators are looking to put together a timeline of his movements in the last years and months of his life. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is looking to speak to any known associates of Casas, particularly to a Joanne Bergeron who is believed to have spent time in Cuba prior to April 1992, where she worked as a travel agent, and today would be approximately 68-years-old. A dedicated e-mail has been established to reach the investigative team directly. Please contact with any information. You can also call 709-729-8000. To report anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit

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.