Justice through genomics
Othram’s scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated forensic evidence.
We enable human identification even when other approaches fail.
We decipher genetic identities so you can solve cases.
Othram is the first private laboratory built to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Our scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace amounts of degraded or contaminated materials. We help investigators break through previously impenetrable forensic DNA barriers and close previously unsolvable cases.Request analysis
Purpose-Built for Forensics
Othram features essential infrastructure and process for testing forensic DNA evidence, including upfront DNA profile feasibility assessment, to avoid unnecessary evidence consumption, automatic human enrichment, and separate unidirectional workflows.
Optimized for Identification
Othram digitizes many types of genetic variation, powering proprietary KinSNP™ analysis, mixture deconvolution, and genealogy. These methods, in combination with the DNASolves® database and other resources, enable human ID from forensic evidence.
Secure and Accountable
Othram uniquely offers in-house processing of evidence, from DNA extraction and enrichment, to sequencing and genealogy. Our lab supports chain of custody and is staffed by seasoned forensic DNA analysts with experience testifying in court.
In December 1977, Alma Jones was found murdered in her home in Raleigh, North Carolina by an unknown male.
In 2021, Raleigh Police investigators secured SAKI funds and approval to use forensic genetic genealogy. Othram applied Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing to the remaining DNA to produce a genealogical profile for Raleigh Police investigators, who worked with the Charlotte and Baltimore FBI offices to perform genealogical research. Subsequent investigation by identified the Alma Jones' killer as Paul David Crowder Jr.
In December 1977, hunters discovered skeletonized human remains. With no viable leads, she became known as "Escatawpa Jane Doe".
Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the Mississippi State Crime Lab contracted Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive genealogical profile, and KinSNP™ rapid familial testing to confirm suspected relationships. After further investigation, investigators concluded the victim's identity was Clara Birdlong of Leflore County, MS.
In 1982 human remains were found in the woods in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Detectives were not able to identify the female victim.
In March 2021, the Gwinnett Homicide Unit shipped the victim’s skull to Othram. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogy profile from the degraded skeletal remains. Investigative leads from the Othram genealogy team connected the unidentified victim to a daughter. Othram's KinSNP™ rapid familial testing confirmed the victim's identity as Marlene Standridge.
In September 1976, the body of a young woman was found wrapped in a white sheet.
In February 2021, a DNA extract from the remaining degraded DNA evidence was sent to Othram in hopes that a genealogical profile could be built. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a profile, leading to the confirmation of Woodlawn Jane Doe's identity as 16-year-old Margaret Fetterolf.
In May, 1983 human remains were found in a wooded area near the Dempster Highway in Yukon Territory, Canada.
Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a genealogical profile from degraded skeletal remains, and produced investigative leads for the Yukon RCMP. These leads led investigators to work with the Oaklyn Police Department and New Jersey State Police on a missing person case from their jurisdicition. The remains were identified as Theodore Frederick Kampf, an American from New Jersey.
In August 2014, a backpacker encountered human skeletal remains in Welcome Creek Wilderness.
In 2021, the Granite County and Missoula County Sheriff’s Offices partnered with Othram to help identify Granite County John Doe. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile. After returning investigative leads back to law enforcement, the Montana State Crime Lab conducted DNA testing to confirm that Granite County John Doe's identity was in fact David Jon Milek.
In July 1995, a young man was struck by a train at the railroad crossing at Courtney Street and 13th Avenue in Regina.
In December 2020, investigators reached out to Othram in to use advanced DNA testing. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a genealogical profile, and determined that the man was part of a Canadian family with part of his ancestry tracing to Sweden. Investigators confirmed the identity of the young man as 30-year-old Michael Kirov from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In June 1980, boaters on the Snohomish River discovered the body of an adult male floating in the waters near the old Weyerhaeuser Mill and Dagmar’s Marina.
In 2021, a DNA extract, along with a section of the left femur, were sent to Othram for further DNA analysis. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a complete genealogical profile from the degraded and bacterially contaminated DNA. An investigator with the SCMEO used the match to identify the unknown man as Steven Lee Knox.
In June 1989, 14-year-old Stephanie Isaacson did not arrive home at her usual time. When her body was found, investigators determined she had been strangled.
In 2021, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department teamed up with Othram to reexamine DNA evidence. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile from 120 picograms of DNA, from which investigative leads were generated. LVMPD detectives confirmed the identity of the suspect in Stephanie's sexual assault and murder.
In 1977, a couple discovered the remains of an unknown man while retrieving a septic tank pump at their farm in Alberta, Canada.
With all leads exhausted, in 2020 the Alberta RCMP Missing Person Unit and the OCME teamed up with Othram to generate investigative leads. Othram applied Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a genealogical profile for the victim. Although the DNA was degraded, the Othram team developed a profile suitable for genealogical research, yielding leads that were used to identify family members of the victim.
In May 2016, an unidentified young man was found on the shore of Lake Laberge in Yukon, Canada. All forensic and investigative routes were exhausted trying to identify the man.
In 2020, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Yukon Coroner's Service teamed with Othram to develop new investigative leads. Using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and other advanced forensic DNA technologies, investigators were able to identify family members. Further DNA testing confirmed the man’s identity as Nathan Eugene Hine.
In 1991, hunters came upon the skeletal remains of a young woman near Vancleave, Mississippi, and was never identified.
In 2019, the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory teamed up with Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile from skeletal remains. The profile revealed a genetic admixture common in Pennsylvania, and produced a handful of distant relatives. Jackson County investigators worked with law enforcement in Pennsylvania to confirm the identity as Kimberly Ann Funk.
In September 1985, a local hunter was tracking a bear he had shot when he came upon human skeletal remains. An initial investigation revealed that the remains belong to a female homicide victim.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office partnered with Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and a proprietary human enrichment process to produce a genealogical profile. After weeks of intense genealogy research, interviews and DNA testing of relatives, Christy Crystal Creek was identified as Janet L. Lucas.
In November 1980, an archaeologist discovered a shallow grave in an isolated desert area which contained the bodies of two homicide victims. All attempts to identify the victims met with negative results.
After several failed attempts by different labs, Deputy Peter Headley reached out to Othram. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and a proprietary human enrichment method to extract DNA from both unidentified victims and build a high-resolution genealogical profile.
In January 1995, the parents of a Beaumont, Texas school teacher went to her home to check on her. Mary lived alone, and had not responded to calls. They found she had been drowned in her bathroom.
Evidence from the crime scene was sent to Othram, where scientists developed a DNA extract. Processing the DNA, a mixture of an unknown male and the victim, Othram leveraged Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a DNA profile. The unknown man was identified, and has been arrested and charged with her murder.
Investigators were shocked to discover the skeletal remains of a young woman in a self-storage unit. Dental records and composite sketches yielded no viable leads.
Othram partnered with the Durham Police Department, using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a genealogical profile. Analysis suggested the woman was from the Turtle Mountain band of the Ojibwe (Chippewa) people. KinSNP™ and traditional STR testing confirmed the woman's identity as Melissa Ann Poitra.
A teenager out for a walk along the Lehigh River discovered a human head. Three separate suitcases were located, all containing remains of what appeared to be a young white female and her unborn, full-term baby girl.
Othram produced a genealogical profile using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and proprietary human enrichment. A nephew of Beth Doe was identified using the profile. After 44 years, Beth Doe was identified as fifteen-year-old Evelyn Colon.
A couple walking on a rural road in Southwest Missouri discovered the decomposed remains of a young woman. She had been hog-tied with six different types of bindings and dumped next to an abandoned farmhouse.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Othram to establish an identification. In January 2021, the Sheriff’s Office received information from Othram about candidate relatives identified for Grace Doe. Grace has been identified as Shawna Beth Garber.
In October 2016, the remains of a man were found by a kayaker in a parkside reservoir. Traditional identification approaches using fingerprints and CODIS testing were unsuccessful. No records were found for medical hardware identified on the remains.
In late 2020, Montgomery County Forensic Services partnered with Othram to develop new leads in the case. Working from distant genetic matches and through Mennonite and French Canadian familial records, Othram’s internal research team produced a new lead for investigators.
In 1966, a young woman checked into the Ropers Motel with an unknown male companion. Hours later, a hotel employee found the woman’s body in the hotel pool. As the woman was being taken away in an ambulance, her companion checked out of the hotel and was never seen again.
Othram reached out to the Pecos Police Department to help identify the woman using advanced DNA testing. Skeletal remains were brought to Othram to extract DNA from the bone, and then to construct a DNA profile using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®.
In July 2018, two hikers found a deceased male hiker in a tent at the Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County, Florida. Other hikers met him in 2017 and 2018, but none of them knew his true identity. Identification was further complicated by the use of aliases and cash.
Ultimately through the efforts of law enforcement, tips from the crowd, and Othram DNA testing, the Collier County Sheriff's Office identified the hiker as Vance Rodriguez.
In December 1982, a truck driver notified the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department of a possible sighting of a body in the river near Moss Point, Mississippi. Responding deputies recovered the remains of a female toddler caught in the brush downriver.
Othram's forensic scientists applied proprietary enrichment methods and Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing™ to produce a genetic profile that led to new leads. After 38 years, Delta Dawn's name was restored as Alisha Ann Heinrich.
Siobhan McGuinness was a bright and energetic 5-year-old girl living in western Montana. One evening in early 1974, she disappeared while walking home from her friend’s house. Siobhan’s body was found two days later stuffed into a snowy culvert.
Othram's Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® process was applied to the DNA extract to produce a genealogical profile from less than 400 pg of highly degraded DNA. Law enforcement used the profile to perform a genealogical investigation, ultimately identifying Siobhan's suspected assailant.
Hikers near Harvard, Illinois discovered a body near the Rush Creek Trails in May 2019. The McHenry County Coroner’s Office attempted to identify the unknown man using fingerprints, dental records, and CODIS testing, but traditional approaches were unsuccessful.
Remains were sent to Othram and a DNA profile was built using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®. An investigative lead was returned to Chief Deputy Coroner, Olivia Zednick. Together, her team and Othram confirmed the identity of the unknown man.
In October of 1984, 9-year-old Christine Jessop got off her school bus in Queensville, Ontario, and walked to meet a friend at the park. Christine never made it. A massive search revealed no indication of what had happened. Christine’s body was found off a rural road in Sunderland, Ontario a few months later.
In 2019, Toronto Police investigators partnered with Othram to leverage Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing™ to build a genealogical profile from the scant quantity of highly degraded DNA that remained.
Carla Walker was just 17 when she was abducted from a Fort Worth parking lot and murdered in February of 1974. This brutal crime remained unsolved for nearly a half-century, with all available leads exhausted, including conventional forensic DNA testing.
In April 2020, Carla’s story was featured on Oxygen’s “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes.” Within weeks, Othram’s advanced DNA analysis paired with exceptional investigative work from the detectives led to the identification of a suspect.
The search for answers began in 1994 when a fisherman discovered a body in the lake. It’s likely that the Lake Stickney John Doe had been in the lake for as many as seven years before being discovered.
Despite having less than 0.2 nanograms (less than 20 cell’s worth) of badly degraded and heavily contaminated human DNA to work with, Othram’s scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and a combination of proprietary enrichment methods and sequencing protocols to reconstruct a genealogical profile.
Solve your case.
Forensic evidence will degrade over time. Don't lose your evidence or allow it to be consumed by inadequate testing. We work with forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches failed. Reach out to learn how we can help you with your case.
Every year, 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered in the US. Law enforcement is working with @OthramTech to help solve some of these tragic cases using the power of #NGS. #unsolved https://t.co/z7DETq2T0c pic.twitter.com/bOQT3ElZrs— Illumina (@illumina) June 29, 2021
Your BRILLANT work has changed our life. Although this is not the way my husband @luiscolon anticipated finding his aunt #Evelyncolon there is some PEACE in KNOWING.. Being a Houstonian myself, I am so proud ya'll are here. A million thanks to all involved!!! 😇 God Bless 💜🙏— Dorothy Colon (@dorothycolon84) April 15, 2021
How it started: How it’s going: pic.twitter.com/YRsb7pxjlo— Othram Inc. (@OthramTech) October 10, 2020
Mississippi victim "Delta Dawn" identified thanks for woman's generosity, team effort in forensic genealogy by #JacksonCountySheriff, #FBI and #Othram Labs. https://t.co/lVfuJ1pDjE #dna #coldcase #forensics #Mississippi— Bill Thomas (@BillThomas56) December 4, 2020
For 37 years, police have not been able to identify the killer of two Toronto women. Now, they have tracked down the suspect’s great-grandparents using a new DNA mapping technique. https://t.co/NmP21AaChP @Ronna_Syed pic.twitter.com/a6o8kCZ4Vp— The Fifth Estate (@cbcfifth) March 18, 2021