The Porchlight Project Solves John Doe Case for Youngstown P.D.

Val Bogart for The Porchlight Project

The Porchlight Project’s own genetic genealogist, Val Bogart, tracked a DNA profile from a 1976 Youngstown John Doe to a specific family tree, and identified Robert “Earl” Sanders as the victim. This is the first solve for our in-house genealogist and we’re extremely proud of Val.

This case was brought to us by our friends at Othram. From the Vindicator:

“It was 17,000 days ago to this day exactly — 46 years, six months and 15 days, Aug. 13, 1976 — that a missing report was filed on Youngstown John Doe,” Capt. Jason Simon of the Youngstown Police Department said Monday of when Robert “Earl” Sanders, 23, was reported missing.”

A moment later, Simon of the detective division put a photo on a table next to him showing Sanders, and Alisa Yelkin gasped.

Yelkin was the person who alerted Detective Sgt. Dave Sweeney of the Youngstown Police Department about 18 months ago that there was a skull in the anthropology department at Youngstown State University, and she thought the person’s identity should be determined.

Read the full story here.

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