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Cape Girardeau County John Doe 1980 (NamUs #UP14558)

Fundraising has begun for our next Doe case.  This will be the second case brought to us by Dr. Jennifer Bengtson of Southeast Missouri State University Department of Anthropology.  As we did with our first (successful!) case with them, Redgrave Research will be doing the forensic genealogy at a reduced rate as part of a special educational opportunity for Dr. Bengtson’s students, who are running the fundraiser for the lab work through their Anthropology club.

From one of Dr. Bengtson’s students:

“These cases are near and dear to my heart, as they formed and fostered my love of all things anthropology, bioarchaeology and forensics. If you’re able to help please consider it. The benefit of students working on these cases is paramount in ensuring that the discipline continues to grow.”

Forensic Art

Redgrave Research donated forensic art for this case and ran a live-streaming event on Facebook to contribute to the fundraising efforts.  A time lapse video of the full process will be made available at a later date.

Case Details:

NamUs #UP14558

Very little information is known about the circumstances of the recovery of remains prior to re-discovery by Dr. Bengtson at SEMO.  From the fundraiser page:

“Based on an anthropological analysis conducted by Dr. Bengtson and her students, the remains in question are those of an older biological male, likely of European ancestry. Based on limited available records from the original investigation, the remains were recovered in 1980. Their condition clearly indicates that they are of forensic (rather than archaeological) concern. Unfortunately, due to the age of the case, only limited information on the circumstances of recovery are known. Dr. Bengtson and her students created a biological profile for the decedent and entered his information into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System ( case #14558), and submitted a sample for CODIS DNA testing to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. DNA extraction was successful, but unfortunately there were no hits in the CODIS database. This prompted us to submit a sample of the remains for full genome sequencing in order to attempt identification using genealogical methods. All of this work has been done in coordination with the Cape Girardeau County Coroner’s Office.”

Our thanks to Dr. Bengtson, her students, and the SEMO University Foundation for entrusting us with another case!  Thank you to everyone who is able to donate or share this fundraiser.