Barn John Doe 2004


On December 23, 2004 juveniles found a decomposed human skeleton in a barn in a wooded area near the intersection of Hwy 69S and FM 2813 in South Tyler, Smith County, Texas. A blue jacket, blue jeans, a black baseball cap, and brown Rockport shoes were found on the skeleton. The Tyler Forensic Medical Examiner determined the remains were that of a White / Caucasian male between 27 and 42 years old, approximately 5′ 8″ to 6’ 2” in height, with a medium to large frame and average muscle development. It was estimated the man died months earlier that same year.

NamUs ID: UP3216
Date Body Found: December 23, 2004
Race: White / Caucasian
Gender: Male
Estimated Age: 27-42
Estimated PMI: Months
Location: Smith County, TX

Agency of Jurisdiction
Tyler Police Department, Major Crimes
James Holt, Detective
[email protected]

Link to More Information

Status: Identified

On December 14, 2021 the Tyler Police Department’s Major Crimes Division of Tyler County, Texas (TPD) and the DNA Doe Project (DDP) confirmed identification of remains of a man found in Tyler County in 2004 as those of Kim Ryan Casey. Using investigative genetic genealogy, DDP was able to solve the seventeen-year-old cold case of the man known only as Barn John Doe 2004 since his discovery.

Kim Ryan Casey

Kim Ryan Casey photo courtesy of Tyler Police Department

Born in 1952, Casey was last known to be living in Coppell, Texas. His skeletal remains were found on December 23, 2004 by children in a barn located in a wooded area in South Tyler, Texas, a little more than 100 miles from Coppell. Casey was 52 when he is thought to have died months earlier in that same year.

After exhausting all available leads, in 2019 Detective James Holt of the Tyler Police Department’s Major Crimes Division brought the case to the DDP. Volunteer genealogists were able to identify a candidate in August 2021, and Detective Holt was then able to contact family members to confirm the match.

“This case had some interesting challenges, including a DNA sample that was very small in quantity and heavily contaminated with bacteria,” notes Kevin Lord, Lab Liaison for the DNA Doe Project. “I’m glad that, despite these hurdles, we were able to identify Kim and bring some answers to his family.”

Volunteer Genealogist Missy Koski said, “The research tree sent us as far away as Scotland to find common ancestors between DNA matches. We were challenged by matches that were more distantly related than expected, which was due to endogamy in the Kentucky and Missouri regions of the family tree.”

DDP wishes to acknowledge the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: Detective James Holt of the Tyler Police Department; HudsonAlpha Discovery Labs for whole genome sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch for providing their database; our generous donors; and our extraordinary team of DDP investigative genetic genealogists.

Doe-Nate Case:

This is a Doe-Nate Fund case.  The goal was $2,500.  Major funding for this case was provided by audiochuck and we were able to reach our goal. Barn John Doe 2004 has been fully funded!  A big thank you to all our donors.
Image Credit: Texas Department of Public Safety

Last Updated: February 9, 2024

Posted on

August 8, 2020