Gwinnett County

Medical Examiner fundraising to identify remains from decades-long Gwinnett County cold case

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner is teaming up with a forensic genetic testing company in an effort to identify a man whose skeletal remains were found in 1999.

More than 20 years after he was found, the ME is working to raise $7,500 to try to identify the man.

All investigators found in 1999 were the remains, and a few clothing items, near a creek in Lawrenceville.

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According to the Gwinnett officials, the John Doe was a Black male, between the ages of 25 to 45 years old, and between 5′7″ to 5′11″.

His body was either buried where it was found or possibly washed down to the location due to flooding, according to a release by DNASolves, the company the ME is working with.

Due to a lack of information developed over the course of the cold case investigation, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System in April 2022.

The John Doe was found with little identifying information, or other materials.

According to his entry in NAMUS, he was found in a floodplain near a creek behind an industrial area in Lawrenceville.


The man’s remains were described as being “found nearly intact, with a multi-colored striped shirt and a black necktie,” NAMUS reports. “No other personal effects, clothing, or items were found with the remains. There is one semicircular defect of one right rib (antemortem) but no other signs of antemortem trauma.”

While details are scant on the NAMUS entry, the DNASolves fundraising campaign contains some details about the investigation.

“Investigators determined that the man had likely died elsewhere, and the remains were either buried where they were found, or flooding had carried the remains to the location of discovery,” DNASolves reported.

The Gwinnett County ME has a reported “longstanding collaboration with Othram,” a forensic genetic testing company based in Texas.

The office and company are working together to use “advanced forensic DNA testing combined with a genealogical search” in an effort to identify the man, or a close relative.

To help the investigation, anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the Gwinnett County Police Department by calling 770-513-5000 and referencing case number 99-005040.

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