Using advanced genetic genealogy technology, investigators have recently managed to unveil the identity of a homicide victim, whose skull was discovered almost 24 years ago near an apartment complex.
Detective Scott Lowen from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office recounted that on June 21, 2000, deputies were summoned to the Calibre Bend Apartments in response to a resident’s report of two cats playing with a human skull. Anthropologists estimated that the individual had likely succumbed to death around 1992 or 1993.
The examination of the skull revealed a hole, indicative of a gunshot wound, suggesting foul play in the victim’s demise.
Further exploration of the vicinity led detectives to uncover additional skeletal remains and clothing partially buried in a nearby vacant lot, as detailed in a press release from Othram Labs.
Despite exhaustive efforts at the time, investigators were unable to identify the victim, relegating him to the status of John Doe. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System recorded details of the case, but it eventually went cold.
In August 2022, the sheriff’s office submitted forensic evidence to Othram Labs, leading to the extraction of DNA from the remains. Employing forensic-grade genome sequencing, Othram Labs created a DNA profile and developed leads for further investigation. Subsequently, their findings were relayed to the sheriff’s office.
Detective Lowen disclosed that the victim has now been identified as Paul “Larry” Rougeux Jr., determined to be approximately 40 years old at the time of his demise.