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Justice through genomics

Othram enables human identification from difficult evidence such as touch DNA, rootless hair, and decades-old bones.

Othram achieves results even when other approaches fail.

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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.

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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 kinship 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.

Recent casework

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.

The remains, found in 1979 in an agricultural field near Charleston, Missouri, had been burned prior to discovery. No identity could be established at that time and the remains were eventually turned over to Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO).

Dr. Bengtson and her team at SEMO sent a small sample of the remains to Othram in early 2020 in the hopes of solving this case while providing her students a valuable learning platform.

In August of 1979, one family hunting for arrowheads in the caves, instead turned up a headless, burlap wrapped male torso. The remains, which became known as the Buffalo Cave Torso, were examined by the FBI’s elite forensic team with no resulting identification, and also examined at the Smithsonian, again without an identification being made.

Othram’s laboratory digitized the degraded remains from this case using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®.

Let's 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.

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