, 2022-07-27 17:18:00,
The North Carolina Unidentified Project has been able to successfully identify seven people thanks to forensic genetic genealogy.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Through a new partnership with the North Carolina Unidentified Project, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) is taking steps to bring closure in cases involving unidentified victims.
It’s a project that uses forensic genetic genealogy to assist law enforcement in identifying victims.
Bryan Crum, with CMPD’s violent crime division, said the North Carolina Unidentified Project received a grant to assist in identifying North Carolina’s 130 unidentified persons. He said these are people who have been found by law enforcement, but investigators haven’t been able to figure out who they are.
Crum said the first phase of the project paid for the extraction of DNA analysis and research from 13 unidentified people. The DNA data is loaded into ancestry and genealogy databases, such as GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA, to try to identify potential matches or family members of the unidentified person.
Of the 13 samples the North Carolina Unidentified Project worked on, Crum said six of the samples were too degraded to reach a conclusion. The project was able to get profiles from seven previously unidentified people and successfully identify them.
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Closing a 2010 case
In October of 2010, a man’s remains were found just north of Uptown Charlotte.
WCNC Charlotte covered the case in 2010, reporting that a skull was found in a concrete draining ditch off Wadsworth Place. It left detectives with CMPD wondering who this person was for nearly 12 years.
Thanks to the new project, Dr. Ann Ross, a North Carolina board-certified forensic anthropologist with the department of human identification at NC State University, and Leslie Kaufman, a forensic genealogist and owner of First Genes, LLC, were able to provide closure to the case.
The medical examiner’s office…
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