Webster County Coroner and Southeast Missouri State University Partner with Othram to Identify 2006 John Doe

After dying in an automobile accident nearly two decades ago, a man using the alias Charles Goudeau has yet to be identified.


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Published June 24 by Michael Vogen
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In April 2006, a man known locally as Charles Goudeau was killed in a car accident on Interstate 44 in Webster County, Missouri, about five miles east of Marshfield. Alongside the man was his 3-month-old chocolate lab puppy, Cocoa. Cocoa was found with a broken leg and several lacerations about 50 yards from the wreckage and was nursed back to health. Cocoa was adopted by a deputy who responded to the scene and ended up becoming a mascot in the Webster County D.A.R.E. program. When authorities tried to find the deceased man's next-of-kin using the name and social security number they had for him, it was discovered that "Charles" had been using a stolen identity.

Despite extensive efforts, law enforcement officials were unable to identify the man or locate his next-of-kin. The man was described as an African American male, likely under 50 years old at the time of his death, with a prominent midline surgical scar on his abdomen. The John Doe's remains were eventually cremated.

In March 2020, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP66414. Despite efforts to identify the man, no leads have yielded a match and his identity remains a mystery.

In 2024, the Webster County Coroner's Office teamed with Othram to leverage advanced DNA testing and genetic genealogy to develop investigative leads in hopes of identifying the man. Southeast Missouri State University previously partnered with Othram to identify Helen Groomes. If you have any information that may help with this investigation, please contact Coroner Michael Taylor at 417-859-3911 and reference case number 06-0044D.

A portion of the casework costs for this case have been provided by Southeast Missouri State University, thanks to private donations in support of experiential learning opportunities for Anthropology students. A DNA Solves fund has been established to cover the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here. We are grateful for your support.

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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 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.