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NamUs Selects Othram as a Forensic Genetic Genealogy Partner

Partnership involves developing cutting-edge genomic tools to help reconnect missing and unidentified persons with their families

The Woodlands, TX — September 27, 2022

Othram, the leading forensic sequencing laboratory for law enforcement, and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed person cases, today announced their partnership to develop and deploy forensic DNA testing tools to help reconnect missing and unidentified persons with their families.

Othram is the world’s only laboratory purpose-built to combine genome sequencing with advanced human identification applications. The laboratory is also the first facility in the United States or Canada offering end-to-end, in-house processing from forensic evidence to forensic genetic genealogy leads. Over the last three years, this technology has helped law enforcement crack cases at the local, state, and federal level, many of which had been unsolved for decades.

The NamUs contract was awarded to RTI International in 2021 to continue operation of the database and enhance the availability of forensic services and resources available to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. All NamUs resources are provided at no cost to law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, allied forensic professionals, and family members through funding from the National Institute of Justice.

To date, NamUs houses over 59,800 missing persons and 14,500 unidentified human remains cases and has helped investigators, coroners, and medical examiners solve more than 30,300 missing persons cases and identify over 5,700 decedents from their remains. The NamUs team has extensive experience serving the forensic community and are continuing to advance the NamUs mission through a diverse network of partnerships with organizations such as Othram.

In September 2022, through the NamUs/Othram partnership, a woman murdered in 1980 and found dismembered in the trunk of a car, was finally identified as Anne L. Papalardo-Blake of New York City. In April 2022, also through the partnership, skeletal remains recovered in 1984 near the Powell Ranger Station in Idaho were identified as missing U.S. Air Force Veteran, Roger Brian Bennett. Several more joint investigations are underway.

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 fail. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. Visit dnasolves.com to learn how anyone can make a difference in helping solve the next cold case.

About NamUs

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed person cases across the United States. Funded and administered by the National Institute of Justice and managed through a contract with RTI International, all NamUs resources are provided at no cost to law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, allied forensic professionals, and family members of missing persons.

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