Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office Teams with Othram to Identify 1984 John Doe

Nearly four decades later, investigators are still working to identify a man whose remains were found in rural Washoe County, Nevada.
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Published November 18, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In November 1984, skeletal remains were discovered by hunters in what appears to have been a campsite north of Tracy Clark Power Station in Washoe County, Nevada. The remains also appeared to have been partially charred by a fire in the area in July 1983. Detectives determined that the remains belonged to a 35 to 45 year old white man who was approximately 5’4” tall. A dental autopsy revealed that three of the man's teeth had incomplete healing leading investigators to conclude that, prior to his death, the man had recently undergone an extraction procedure. Due to the condition of the remains, law enforcement was unable to ascertain other physical characteristics of the unknown man.

Several items were found in the vicinity of the man's remains, including a Holiday Hotel/Casino Keno ticket stamped with the date 05/04/1982, combs, can openers, and four pennies with a date of 1980. Investigators also discovered a pink blanket near the body. In June 2008, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as case number #UP2104. Despite continuous efforts by law enforcement to identify the man, no leads have yielded a match and the case has gone cold.

In 2023, the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office teamed with Othram to generate new leads in the case using advanced DNA technology and forensic genetic genealogy. Anyone with information that could aid in the investigation is encouraged to contact the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office by calling 775-785-6114 and referencing agency case number 1984-01060 or NamUs ID #UP2104.

Law enforcement has contributed a portion of the funds for this case. A DNASolves crowdfund has been established to cover the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.

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 Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.