Will County Coroner's Office Teams with Othram to Identify a 2013 Homicide Victim

Skeletal remains found earlier this year are now known to belong to 24-year-old Marcus Wright, who was murdered in 2013.

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Published July 03 by Michael Vogen
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In March 2013, 24-year-old Marcus Wright was reported missing to the Joliet Police Department. His parents reported that he had not been seen or heard from since March 20, 2013. Joliet Police opened a missing person investigation. Throughout the subsequent years Joliet Police investigated numerous leads including leads that he had been murdered.

Police investigators obtained DNA samples from family members that were subsequently profiled and entered into CODIS, a national DNA database that compares unidentified persons DNA with relatives of missing persons.

In 2023, Joliet Police investigators under the supervision of Deputy Chief Matlock developed new leads which resulted in several searches in the area east of McKay Steet which included a wooded area belonging to the Will County Forest Preserve. In March 2023 two human bones were located in that area. The bones were placed into the custody of the Will County Coroner’s office in compliance with state law.

The bones were subsequently evaluated by Forensic Anthropologist Cris Hughes, a professor at the University of Illinois and were found to be consistent with originating from a tall male subject. Marcus Wright is 6’2” tall. One bone was sent to Othram Inc., located in The Woodlands, Texas, along with a DNA swab from a close relative.

Othram Inc. has partnered with the Will County Coroner Office on several occasions these last two years resulting in the resolution of four other cold cases. Othram Inc. was developed to assist law enforcement specifically with missing and unidentified persons cases. Othram developed a suitable extract from the degraded skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the remains. A pairwise comparison of the profile against a close relative, using KinSNP® familial testing, indicated a genetic relationship suggesting that the skeletal remains belonged to Marcus Wright, who was murdered a decade earlier.

In June 2023, the Will County Coroner office confirmed the identification and an investigation into Wright's death continues.

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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.