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Clark County John Doe discovered in 1979 identified by ISU, UNH and DNA DOE Project researchers

November 13, 2019

Poster about Clark County John Doe being found

POCATELLO – The DNA Doe Project, with help from Idaho State University  anthropologist Samantha Blatt and former ISU faculty Amy Michael, has made a tentative positive identification of Clark County, Idaho/Buffalo Cave John Doe, whose remains were originally found in 1979.

 The name and details of his life will not be released until law enforcement is able to provide secondary confirmation. However, Blatt, an ISU assistant professor, Michael, now at the University of New Hampshire, and the DNA Doe Project team members Anthony and Lee Redgrave are continuing their research about this fascinating cold case for publication.

In 1979, the headless torso of a man was found buried in a cave. In 1991, more partially mummified remains, some wrapped in burlap, were found by a young girl exploring the cave with her family. ISU conducted excavations of the cave, but never recovered the entire body. Since then, the skeletonized remains have been stored at ISU. This unknown man is now identified with high confidence through dedicated DNA Doe Project volunteers trained as forensic genealogists.

DNA Doe Project. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit initiative helping identify Jane and John Does and return them to their families. DDP collaborates with independent laboratories and bioinformatics experts to generate data based on degraded DNA typical of John and Jane Doe case. Files are then uploaded to GEDmatch.com and to FamilyTreeDNA and forensic genealogy is used along with anthropological data to narrow down the identity along with life history clues.

If you would like to learn more about DNA Doe Project cases or wish to make a tax-deductible donation either to a general fund or a specific case please visit their website at:



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