Victim of 2016 Homicide Identified by Genetic Genealogy
Family’s search comes to a sad ending
Sebastopol, California – 6 February 2021 – On February 5, 2021 the Louisiana State Police (LSP) announced the identity of the skeletal remains found in Evangeline Parish in 2018 as those belonging to Erica Nicole Hunt, who went missing in Opelousas, Louisiana in 2016.
In May 2019 LSP contacted the DNA Doe Project (DDP) to request our assistance. After numerous attempts to obtain usable DNA, DDP commenced genetic genealogy research in November 2020 to find the identity of Evangeline Parish Jane Doe.
Erica Hunt was born on July 10, 1996 in Louisiana. She was 20 years old when she vanished from Boudin-Opelousas on the evening of July 3, 2016. On July 6, 2016 Erica’s family reported her missing to the Opelousas Police. Her partially buried skeletal remains were discovered in a field near Ville Platte, Louisiana on December 30, 2018. The case is being handled as a homicide.
DDP wishes to acknowledge the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: Louisiana State Police Investigator Anthony Pardo and Lt. Brad Guidroz, who entrusted the case to DDP and provided invaluable assistance; DNA Solutions and Astrea Forensics for extraction; HudsonAlpha Discovery for sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; and GEDmatch and Family Tree DNA for providing their databases.
Atypically, a single DDP volunteer spent approximately 49 hours researching the case. As she wrapped up the research, she commented: “Being able to work on Erica’s case and to help restore her identity to her was an absolute honor. She will never again be known as just Evangeline Parish Jane Doe; she is Erica Nicole Hunt.”
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 relies on donations to fund lab costs when agencies cannot afford them. To date DDP has made over forty confirmed identifications. Discover more at https://dnadoeproject.org/ .