DNA Lab in news around the country

April 1, 2009

The UNT Center for Human Identification’s DNA lab at the UNT Health Science Center, has been in the news for its role in identifying missing persons and found remains from across the country.

The lab positively identified the remains of Leslie Adams in Georgia, according to news outlets wsbtv.com, Online Athens, Macon.com, Ledger-Enquirer.com, examiner.com and the Fort Mill Times Online. Adams, first reported missing in 2005, was from Atlanta, Ga., and her remains were found in 2007.

The Detroit News reported that the lab was working to either confirm or rule out the remains of a woman found in 1982 are those of a 15-year-old runaway who disappeared at around the same time. DNA samples from the family of the runaway are being compared to the remains.

In Owesnboro, Ky., the Messenger-Inquirer included an article about the attempt to identify three bodies found in a van at the bottom of a lake. Authorities believe they know the identities but have sent DNA samples from all three bodies, as well as from the families of the three men they suspect were last alive before the van sunk to the bottom of the lake.

A Snohomish County, Wash., Jane Doe’s DNA was submitted to the lab in hopes of identifying her . Authorities know how she died – her murderer has served 30 years behind bars. They just do not know who she is. Her story appeared in the Edmonds Enterprise, the Lynnwood/Mountlake Terrace Enterprise and on HeraldNet.

KVII, ProNews 7, in Amarillo, reported the DNA lab helped identify a Davenport, Iowa, woman whose remains were found in 1983 in Amarillo. Police know that the woman was murdered, but the case has now been reopened to try to find her killer.

The lab is attempting to identify a body found in the Mississippi River near Little Rock, Ark. Authorities believe she is a woman reported as missing from Tiptonville, Tenn., in 1982. The story was reported in the Lake County Banner.

A possible victim of a serial killer may also be identified by the DNA lab. She was found in 1950, and two families who think she may be their mother recently contact authorities about her, according to the Charleston (W.V.) Gazette.  Her DNA as well as samples from each of the families are being analyzed in the lab.

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