Apr 14, 2023

Nonprofit Working to Solve California Cold Case With Eastern North Carolina Ties Using Investigative Genealogy

A nonprofit that got its start more than five years ago continues to work to identify John and Jane Does using investigative genealogy, and in one case has identified eastern North Carolina ties to a body found under a bridge in California nearly 30 years ago.

The DNA Doe Project works to identify unnamed deceased people through the volunteer efforts of more than 60 experienced genetic genealogists. One of those volunteers is Lisa Needler, who is working to help identify a man known as the Wohler Bridge John Doe.

“The body was found, it was skeletal remains, found in 1994,” she said, “It says that subjects were hiking to a fishing hole and discovered the skeleton.”

On New Year’s Eve 1994, officials in Sonoma County say hikers discovered the body near Wohler Bridge in Forestville, California. The coroner said the man had suffered fractures to both sides of his skull and stab wounds to the scapula. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.

Not much else is known about the man. Officials say he was wearing a motorcycle jacket and boots when he died and had a Prince Albert piercing.

DNA matches to distant cousins have come from Craven, Jones, New Hanover, Brunswick and many other North Carolina counties.

You can read more in an article by Annette Weston-Riggs published in the Public Radio For Eastern North Carolina web site at:

Generated by Feedzy