VANCOUVER, Wash. – A 20 year old cold case is solved in Clark County.
An unidentified body was found in Ridgefield in January 2002.
And after the use of DNA genealogy testing and investigative work, the medical examiner has now identified the body as James Johnson Sr.
To find his identity, his DNA was submitted to a lab, who then traced it to two sisters born in Oregon over 100 years ago.
After linking the sisters to living family members, Johnson’s identity was confirmed.
“This great work by our team helped to provide a family with answers they had been waiting 20 years to receive,” Clark County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Martha Burt said. “The Medical Examiner’s Office is committed to finding the names of all unidentified decedents in Clark County.”
GEDmatch and FamilyTree DNA are the only public genealogical databases that allow users to opt-in to database searches by law enforcement and those working to identify unidentified remains. These databases are a powerful tool to help law enforcement, medical examiners and other investigators resolve unidentified person cases and find leads in criminal investigations.
The Medical Examiner’s Office encourages people to consider uploading their DNA profiles from other direct-to-consumer genealogy companies and opting-in to public searches. Doing so can help bring names to the unidentified, provide closure to their families, and help law enforcement identify perpetrators of violent crime. Both FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch allow users to upload their profiles from other companies for free. Find more information on the GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA websites.