In April 2015, a man discovered human remains near the railroad tracks, south of County GG, just east of Interstate 41, in the town of Vinland. An initial examination suggested the human remains belonged to a white male but no age estimate could be made. It was estimated that the remains might have been at the scene for up to two years prior. Cause of death was not clear. Investigators pursued all available leads and traditional forensic DNA testing was used to build a CODIS profile. No matches to identity were found in the government databases. A forensic facial reconstruction was developed to aid in identification but did not generate productive leads either. Multiple men were ruled out as the unknown man based on STR comparisons. The unknown man remained unidentified.
In 2021, The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office (WI) teamed with Othram to use advanced DNA testing to attempt to generate new investigative leads that might point to the unknown man's identity. Working from skull fragments, Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile. The Othram genealogy team use the profile to perform a genealogical search and then returned investigative leads to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office investigators.
Once a potential genealogy link was uncovered, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office contacted the family and acquired familial DNA standards for comparison and eventually the identification was confirmed. The unknown man is now identified as Roland D. Klug (born in 1949) of Oshkosh. This investigation was a substantial team effort that included the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, the Winnebago County Coroner's Office, Othram Inc., and Dr. Jordan Karsten, professor UW-Oshkosh.
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 recovery, 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.