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'We're not too proud to accept help.' DNA Doe Project assists Gregg County Sheriff's Office in cold case

This isn't the first time the Gregg County Sheriff's Office has turned to 'DNA Doe Project' for help. In 2019, Lavender Doe was successfully identified.

GREGG COUNTY, Texas — In 2002 a person's remains were found in Gregg County but there wasn't much to go on. 

Now, detectives have a new lead thanks to the DNA Doe Project.

"We're not too proud to accept help from anywhere, especially an organization that's put together with their main goal to help identify these John Doe's and Jane Doe's," Lieutenant Joshua Tubb with the Gregg County Sheriff's Office said. 

Tubb added they now know much more about this Gregg County Jane Doe. 

The DNA Doe Project crafted an image of what she looked like and narrowed her age somewhere between 17 and 25.

Partial skeletal remains were initially found by a geological crew when they were looking to widen 135 and in the Liberty City area. 

"These remains were found just in a field and had been there for what we understand at least two years, maybe more," Tubb said. 

"Everyone deserves to have their name returned to them," DNA Doe Project Media Director Franchesca Werden said. "And many of these families have been waiting decades to find out what happened to the loved one who just went missing or disappeared one day."

They've had the DNA sample for about three months, and in that short time, they've been able to narrow down where the person was likely from.  

"We think we know about her so far is that she likely has family ties to Appalachia, that would be the region of Southern West Virginia, especially the area around Raleigh County. Volunteer Forensic Genealogist Megan Pisika said. 

She added by using DNA from the people found, they upload it to databases to find out more about their origins. 

"We can test the DNA of these unknown people and build out their family trees and build out the trees of their matches and see where they connect," Pisika said. 

The DNA Doe Project says that Jane Doe has family ties to the following geographical areas: Raleigh County, West Virginia; Surry County, North Carolina; and Patrick County, Virginia.

Surnames of interest include: Bowman, Jessup, Gray, and Niten/Knighton.

This isn't the first time the Gregg County Sheriff's Department has turned to DNA Doe Project for help. In 2019, Lavender Doe was successfully identified with their help.

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