MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) DNA pulled from human bones discovered in a western Ohio state park at the beginning of the year has not been hitched to anyone within the FBI’s database, according to a report from the Mercer County sheriff.
Jeff Grey said Wednesday, though, that while the DNA extracted from bones unearthed Jan. 3 in a state park off U.S. 127 near Coldwater Creek in Celina, Ohio, was not matched in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, the sheriff stressed that analysts were only able to extracted a partial DNA profile from them.
Even a full profile wouldn’t guarantee a match, Grey warned.
“It is important to understand, even if we get DNA, if the DNA is not in a database, it will be difficult, if not impossible to identify the deceased.”
More successful progress has been made through the National Missing and Unidentified Person System, as officials work to identify any missing 20-35-year-old men that went missing between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015 that matches the description that investigators determined the bones belonged to. Grey said officials searched for missing persons in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and found six people who match those characteristics.
Grey said his investigators have spoken with multiple agencies about those missing persons. Identifying the victim will be crucial to solving the case Grey believes is criminal, the sheriff said.
“Without an identity, this case will be nearly impossible to solve. It is critical in missing person cases that DNA be uploaded into the NamUS database. If DNA is not available from the missing person, then it is imperative that DNA is received from the mother of the missing person to attempt identification.”
The bones are still being analyzed in depth at the University of North Texas, where they’ve been for two months, Grey said. The sheriff said the work will take “approximately six months,” and added that he’ll release the details of the university’s findings when he learns them.
Police encourage the family of a missing person to submit their loved one’s DNA to the data base if it hasn’t been already.
Grey also said you can also gather your own DNA and your children’s DNA at home and keep it in case it’s ever needed. That can be done, he said, by doing a simple mouth swab with a Q-tip and then keeping the Q-tip in an envelope or baggie labeled with the person’s name.
“Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but then it’s there if you do need it,” Grey said.