Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office Teams with Othram to Identify a 2020 John Doe

An unidentified man, whose remains were found in an abandoned Illinois house, has been identified as Todd Alan Kenny, born March 30, 1964.

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Published November 22, 2023 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In October 2020, the remains of an unidentified individual were discovered in an abandoned house in Blue Island, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Investigators responded to the scene and determined that the remains were that of a white man, estimated to be between the ages of 40 and 60 years, who was between 5'4" and 5'11" tall. Initially, the man's remains were described as having been burned, however follow up analysis revealed there was no evidence to support that the remains were burned. Rather, the updated analysis suggested that the remains were just severely decomposed. The man was wearing several articles of clothing, including a jacket with the word "LOVE", a shirt, jeans, socks, and leather shoes.

The man could not be identified despite investigators' efforts and the case went unsolved. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP76452. Eventually, investigators turned to advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy in hopes that the man's name could be determined.

In 2023, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the evidence and then used 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 investigative leads that were returned to Cook County Medical Examiner investigators, who used these new leads to continue their search for the man's identity.

In the course of a follow-up investigation, the Medical Examiner's office contacted potential family members of Cook County John Doe. A candidate relative provided a DNA sample for reference testing, which was used to confirm the identity of the unknown man as Todd Alan Kenny of Michigan. Kenny was born March 30, 1964. An investigation into Kenny's death continues and anyone with information regarding Kenny's death should contact Cook County Medical Examiner's Office at 312-666-0500.

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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.