DNA Doe Project Identifies Man Found in a Smith County, Texas barn in 2004

DNA Doe Project Identifies Man Found in a Smith County, Texas barn in 2004

Barn John Doe identified as 56-year-old Kim Ryan Casey of Coppell


South Tyler, TX – Investigative genetic genealogists from the DNA Doe Project along with Tyler police detective James Holt have confirmed the identification of the remains of a man found in 2004 in a local barn as Kim Ryan Casey. Casey, born in 1952, was last known to be living in Coppell, Texas.

Detective James Holt of the Tyler Police Department’s Major Crimes division brought the case to the DNA Doe Project in 2019 after exhausting all available leads. Volunteer investigative genetic genealogists from the DNA Doe Project were able to identify a candidate in August of this year and Detective Holt was then able to contact family members to confirm the match.

On December 23, 2004 juveniles found a decomposed human skeleton in a barn in a wooded area near the intersection of Hwy 69S and FM 2813 in South Tyler, Smith County, Texas. A blue jacket, blue jeans, a black baseball cap, and brown Rockport shoes were found on the skeleton. The Tyler Forensic Medical Examiner determined the remains were that of a white male thought to be between 27 and 42 years old. It was estimated the man died months earlier that same year.

“This case had some interesting challenges, including a DNA sample that was very small in quantity and heavily contaminated with bacteria,” Kevin Lord, Lab Liaison for the DNA Doe Project shared, “I’m glad that despite these hurdles, we were able to identify Kim and bring some answers to his family.”

Volunteer Genealogist Missy Koski said, “The research tree sent us as far away as Scotland to find common ancestors between DNA matches. We were challenged by matches that were more distantly related than expected, which was due to endogamy in the Kentucky and Missouri regions of the family tree.”

DDP wishes to acknowledge the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: Detective James Holt of the Tyler Police Department; HudsonAlpha Discovery Labs for whole genome sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch for providing their database; our generous donors; and our extraordinary team of DDP investigative genetic genealogists.

About the DNA Doe Project

The DNA Doe Project, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to identify John and Jane Does and return them to their families. The genealogy research is pro bono, but the organization relies on donations to fund lab costs when agencies cannot afford them. To date DDP has made over 70 identifications. Discover more at https://dnadoeproject.org/ .

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