John Doe remains found In Tucson in 2019 Identified

Pima County Medical Examiner partners with DNA Doe Project

Tommy Gayle Pool

Tucson, AZ ~ Investigators with the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, working with the DNA Doe Project, have announced the identity of a man found in a homeless encampment in Tucson as Tommy Gayle Pool, Jr. from Virginia. 

On February 26, 2019, the body of Mr. Pool was located without any identification among his belongings. Investigators estimated his age to be between 32 and 50 years old, but he was actually 61 years old at the time of his death. This year, Bruce Anderson, forensic anthropologist from the ME’s office brought the case to the DNA Doe Project to try to use investigative genetic genealogy to determine an identity. The Medical Examiner had collected a blood sample that was used to develop a DNA profile that was then uploaded to the GEDmatch Pro database.

“We were lucky to find two relatively close DNA matches after uploading John Doe’s DNA to GEDmatch Pro, both of whom turned out to be second cousins,” said DNA Doe Project Team Leader Matthew Waterfield. “Less than 18 hours after we started work on the case, our wonderful team was able to identify the Doe.”

The DNA Doe Project is a non-profit organization that partners with law enforcement to solve cases of unidentified Jane and John Doe remains. Many cases, including Mr. Pool’s case, are fully funded by the project’s donors.

“This case is an excellent example of how the teams work together at DDP,” said Gwen Knapp, co-Team Leader. “The investigative work involved a variety of avenues including property record searches, obituaries, encyclopedia entries, and traditional genealogical records and the team worked to flesh out each important record that led to our discovery of the identity of Mr. Pool.”

The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: Bruce Anderson and the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; Genologue for extraction and sequencing of DNA; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch Pro and FTDNA for providing their databases; our generous donors who contributed to this case; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring victims home.

About the DNA Doe Project

The DNA Doe Project, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to identify John and Jane Does and return them to their families. The genealogy research is pro bono, but the organization relies on donations to fund lab costs when agencies cannot afford them. To date DDP has made over 70 identifications. Discover more at https://dnadoeproject.org.

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