A woman found in Lake Michigan in October 1997 has been identified as Dorothy Lynn Thyng Ricker by the DNA Doe Project and the Michigan State Police. Investigative genetic genealogy performed by the DNA Doe Project’s expert team of volunteers was able to identify close family members of Ms Ricker, confirmed by direct DNA comparisons.
When her remains were recovered in 1997, investigators quickly ran out of leads as to Jane Doe’s identity, and her case went cold for more than 20 years. In 2020, the Michigan State Police reviewed the case and asked the DNA Doe Project to attempt an identification using DNA and investigative genetic genealogy. The lab work to develop a workable DNA profile was complex, taking more than a year before the team of volunteers could get to work.
The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Michigan State Police, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; Astrea Forensics for extraction of DNA; HudsonAlpha Discovery for sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch Pro for providing their database; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring victims home.