MURDER VICTIM IDENTIFIED BY GENETIC GENEALOGY AFTER 40 YEARS

Oklahoma City, OKJanuary 30, 2020 – The DNA Doe Project (DDP), in conjunction with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), announces the identification of a female found in April 1980 as Tamara Lee Tigard. “This has been an extremely difficult case for our agency,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor, “one that has been extremely frustrating, but one we never gave up on.”

Tamara Lee Tigard, born in 1959 in California, was reported missing in March 1980. Her remains, covered with quicklime, were found by fishermen on the bank of the North Canadian River east of Jones, Oklahoma. Forensic investigation determined Tamara died from gunshot wounds.

Traditional investigative attempts over the past 40 years by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office to identify her and locate her killer were unsuccessful.  In September 2018 Capt. Bob Green of OCSO contacted DDP for help.

The process of obtaining usable DNA from the remains was challenging. Once the DNA was finally processed and the results were uploaded to GEDmatch, within a day and a half DDP’s team of volunteer genealogists identified a likely name for Lime Lady. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office was able to confirm the identification of Tamara Lee Tigard in December 2019 through a match of dental records obtained from the United States Army. The sheriff’s office is now focused on solving Tamara’s murder.

DDP wishes to acknowledge our generous donors and the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor and his staff who entrusted the case to DDP; the University of North Texas for providing DNA samples; Hudson Alpha Discovery for processing the DNA; Dr. Greg Magoon, Senior Research Engineer, Aerodyne Research Corp., contracting through Full Genomes Corp., for his work in bioinformatics; Othram; GEDmatch for providing their database; and, finally, DDP’s talented team of volunteers.

“We are all working towards the goal of reuniting victims with their families,” said Dr. Margaret Press, co-founder of the DNA Doe Project.  “With the use of genetic genealogy, we are able to help law enforcement agencies and medical examiners identify John and Jane Does.”

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 it relies on donations to fund lab costs when agencies cannot afford them.  To date DDP has made over two dozen confirmed identifications.  Discover more at https://dnadoeproject.org/

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