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.Solve your case
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 1981, a farmer discovered the remains of an adult man. There was no ID on the individual; all leads were exhausted.
In 2020, the Bethlehem Police Department and FBI Melville Office Investigative Genetic Genealogy Unit worked with Othram to develop a DNA profile using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®. Othram scientists developed a new DNA extract suitable for advanced DNA testing, which was used to perform a genealogical search. FBI agents were able to identify family members, who confirmed the man was Franklin Feldman.
In May 2012, a deputy discovered the remains of a woman in a vacant property near the Talladega Superspeedway. With all leads exhausted, the case soon went cold.
The Lincoln Police Department partnered with Othram to use advanced DNA testing to determine the identity of the woman. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile, which was used to produce investigative leads. The agency then confirmed the leads and determined the woman is Jean Turner Ponders.
In 2003, skeletal remains were found during an excavation project. DNA comparison with potential relatives yielded no matches.
In 2021, the Isanti County Sheriff's Office engaged Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile, which was sent to Investigative Genetic Genealogy Consultant Barbara Rae-Venter, who identified a distant relative for the remains. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed a relationship and were able to identify the man as Donald Rindahl.
In 1994, an unidentified woman was found in a shallow grave; no identification was able to be made, and the case soon went cold.
In 2021, the Riverside District Attorney's Office contracted Othram to produce new leads in the case. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to generate a DNA profile which was delivered to investigators, who used it to perform a genealogical search. The Riverside Cold Case Team was able to find a child, suggesting that the unidentified woman was Patricia Cavallaro, born March 22, 1937.
In 2018, a man checking game cameras discovered human remains on his land. The man had been fully skeletonized, making it difficult to determine physical attributes.
In 2021, Det. / Sgt. Simons from Saginaw County Sheriff's Office engaged Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile. Based on the profile, Othram scientists gave Sgt. Simons information that the man was East Asian. Further investigation into open cases revealed that the man was Xin Rong, who was reported missing in 2017.
In 1995, metal detectorists discovered a skeleton in Northampton County. All possible missing persons in the area were ruled out.
In 2019, skeletal remains were sent to Othram for advanced DNA testing. Othram partnered with Northampton County Sheriff’s Office to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a DNA profile; Othram conducted genealogical research, yeilding investigative leads which pointed to a potential relative. DNA contributed by the relative confirmed that the unknown man was his grandfather, Edward Evans.
In 2015, remains of a human male were found near railroad tracks in Vinland, WI. All efforts to identify the man were exhausted.
In 2021, The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office teamed with Othram to generate new leads. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a DNA profile from skull fragments, which Othram genealogists used to develop investigative leads. A potential relative was identified and subsequently confirmed using DNA volunteered by a family member. The man was identified as Roland D. Klug.
In 1989, human remains were found on the northwest shore Fire Island, Alaska. All efforts to identify the victim were unsuccessful.
In 2021, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation Cold Case Investigation Unit sent skeletal remains from the victim to Othram, where scientists were able to extract DNA and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a DNA profile. Genealogy research by Othram and Alaska State Troopers pointed to a candidate identity; subsequent DNA analysis confirmed the remains found were those of Michael Beavers.
In 1979, 16-year-old Kim Bryant was abducted in broad daylight from a restaurant. Her remains were later found in a desert area.
In 2021, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department partnered with Othram to reexamine DNA evidence from the crime scene. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile; the Othram genealogy team used the profile to develop investigative leads that were returned to LVMPD. LVMPD detectives identified Johnny Peterson as the suspect in Kim's sexual assault and murder.
In 1959, 9-year-old Candice went missing. Her body was found two weeks later; she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
In March 2021, the Spokane Police Department sent Othram a DNA extract derived from the crime scene; the DNA extract was degraded and burdened with non-human DNA. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a genealogical profile. Othram returned leads to investigators, who confirmed that John Reigh Hoff is responsible for the sexual assault and murder.
In 2016, skeletal remains discovered in a wooded area in Moss Point, MS. There were no clues to the man's identity.
In 2021, the Mississippi State Crime Lab and Jackson County Sheriff's Office sent the remains to Othram's laboratory. Othram developed a DNA extract and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a DNA profile. Genealogical research identified a possible relative; biological sibling relationship was confirmed using KinSNP™ rapid familial DNA testing. The unidentified person is now known to be Aaron McGraw.
In 1980, the body of a young girl was found adjacent to Interstate 45. She had been viciously assaulted, beaten, and strangled.
In 2020, Walker County Sheriff's Office sent paraffin-emedded tissue to Othram, where scientists used a proprietary DNA extraction approach and Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a genealogical profile from chemically-damaged DNA. The Othram genealogy team returned investigative leads, and used KinSNP™ testing to confirm potential relatives, identifying the girl as Sherri Ann Jarvis of Stillwater, MN.
In February 1996, Terrance Paquette was stabbed 73 times. With no witnesses to the murder, all leads were quickly exhausted.
In 2019, Orange County Sheriff's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement contracted Othram to use advanced DNA testing to identify the killer. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive genealogical profile which was used to narrow in on possible suspects. Investigators were able to identify the suspect, who is now being held on a charge of first-degree murder.
In 2019, a woman told police about a buried body. Investigators found remains of an unknown victim in the backyard of a home.
The Queens DA's office, the NYC FBI office, and NYPD contracted Othram to produce investigative leads. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and proprietary enrichment techniques to build a genealogical profile from skeletal remains. The NYC FBI office used the profile, identifying the man as George Seitz. Further investigation led to the arrest of a suspect in Seitz's murder.
In April 1991, the body of an infant was found in a trash can rack. Officers were unable to establish Baby Doe’s gender due to advanced decomposition.
In 2019, investigators sent a rib bone to Othram. Othram's forensic scientists used proprietary enrichment techniques and Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a genetic profile, which was used by the Othram genealogy team to produce investigative leads for investigators. Further investigation by Nags Head Police led to the arrest of a couple living in Taylorsville, NC.
In September 2019, a rancher found what appeared to be a partial human skeleton.
In February 2021, Ector County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers contracted Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a genealogical profile from the skeletal remains. The Othram genealogy team used this profile to generate investigative leads. After an exhaustive investigation by investigators, Othram used KinSNP™ rapid familial testing to confirm the relationship of a close relative. Investigators were able to identify the man as Timothy Daniel Gomez.
In October 2020, a right foot bearing a shoe was found on a beach near Fort Sumter, SC.
In June 2021, investigators sent evidence to Othram in hopes that advanced DNA testing and genetic genealogy might produce leads. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to generate a genealogical profile which was used by Othram's genealogy team to produced leads provided to investigators. The Charleston County Coroner's Office confirmed the identity as 57-year old Janet Robinson.
In August 2020, fully clothed skeletal remains were discovered by a utility maintenance worker.
The Mississippi State Crime Lab partnered with Othram to use Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile, which was used to search for relatives. Othram used KinSNP™ rapid familial testing to evaluate the relationship between candidate family members and the unknown man. In September 2021, the Mississippi State Crime lab confirmed that unknown man was Anderson Bolls of Jackson, MS.
In September 2002, a local resident found bones of a human male at the Palisades Reservoir.
In March 2021, Othram reached out to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office and offered to assist. Othram then received skeletal remains, and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a DNA profile. The Othram genealogy team conducted a genealogical search and produced investigative leads. Investigators confirmed that the bones belong to Kyle Martin.
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.
It may sound like magic, but it's very real! @OthramTech as been using this kind of DNA matching to solve cold cases and bring closure to real world survivors and loved ones #SVU #SVU500 pic.twitter.com/0IlxIws7Yn— Wolf Entertainment (@WolfEnt) October 22, 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
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
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
Forensic genealogy has not only been used to identify suspects & victims in criminal cases, it has also been used to exonerate the wrongly accused. This matters. It helps investigators solve violent crimes and it brings justice for survivors. @OthramTech #SVU #SVU500— Mariska Hargitay (@Mariska) October 22, 2021