In November 2008, skeletal remains, belonging to an unknown female, were found west of White Swan. The Yakama Nation Tribal Police and Yakima County Coroner's Office investigated the case and worked to pursue all leads available. Traditional forensic DNA testing was attempted, but the skeletal remains were not productive in yielding a usable DNA profile. Without a DNA profile and with all leads exhausted, the case eventually went cold.
In 2022, the Yakima County Coroner’s Office teamed with Othram to leveraged advanced DNA testing to identify the unknown woman. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram and Othram scientists were able to produce a usable DNA extract from the skeletal remains. The lab then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile. Through an investigation by the Yakima County Coroner's Office, a familial reference DNA sample was provided and Othram used KinSNP® familial testing to confirm the suspected relationship between the reference sample and the DNA profile of the unknown woman.
The Yakima County Coroner's office then confirmed that the unknown woman was in fact, Daisy Mae Tallman, also known as Daisy Mae Heath. She was born January 10th, 1958. According to her missing persons record at NamUs (MP52320), Daisy was staying with family in the White Swan area of the Yakama Indian Reservation at the time of her disappearance. Her keys and backpack were later found in the closed area of the reservation, known as Soda Springs, which is a remote part of the reservation. Daisy was last seen around the end of August, and was reported missing on October 29th, 1987. She would have been 29 years old at the time she went missing.
The Yakima County Coroner’s Office offers their condolences to the family and friends of Mrs. Heath-Tallman. Daisy’s cause and manner of death will remain undetermined until further information may be provided. Funding for Othram's DNA testing work was provided by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.