On December 30, 2006 the body of a White/Caucasian male was discovered on the side of the road along northbound Interstate 65 near mile marker 95, east of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The man was dressed in a red plaid, insulated flannel shirt; faded blue jeans; black belt; gray polo shirt; and State Street brand brown shoes, size 11. Investigators found no information that would identify the man. Upon forensic autopsy officials determined the deceased was 50-70 years old, 6′ 0″ tall, weighing an estimated 140 lbs. There was no evidence of trauma to the body. The man had died of an undisclosed cause sometime earlier in 2006 weeks before being found.
NamUs ID: UP750
Date Body Found: December 30, 2006
Estimated Age: 50-70
Estimated PMI: Weeks
Location: Elizabethtown, KY
Agency of Jurisdiction
Hardin County Coroner’s Office
Shana Norton, Admin/Deputy Coroner
Elizabethtown, KY – The DNA Doe Project and the Hardin County Coroner’s Office have identified a man discovered in 2006 on the side of the road along northbound Interstate 65 east of Elizabethtown, Kentucky as Rickey Allen Leslie. He was believed to have died of natural causes weeks prior to being found without any identification.
In 2021, the Hardin County Coroner’s Office contacted the DNA Doe Project to request help identifying the man and a biological sample from his remains was sent to the lab for processing. After seven months of complex, specialized laboratory testing, volunteer investigative genetic genealogists began the work to identify the man by analyzing his genetic matches and building his family tree.
“We had some challenges in this case – a bit of pedigree collapse – but we had a great team that came together to overcome them.” said team leader Rhonda Kevorkian. “There were some good clues to follow that brought everything together in just the right way.”
“We had a male DNA match who was also a good sized X-match, and since two males can only match through the X-path on their maternal lines, this was a huge help in this case,” said team leader Tracie Boyle. “Once we had a candidate and could confirm that the X-path lined up, that helped solidify our findings.”
Despite the challenges, the team was able to identify Ricky Allen Leslie as a potential candidate by mid-July, and his identity was confirmed by local authorities using a DNA match to a family member. Mr Leslie, whose previous address was near where his body was found, had been living in Elizabethtown prior to his death.
The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Hardin County Coroner’s Office, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; HudsonAlpha Discovery for DNA extraction, enrichment, and sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch Pro and FTDNA for providing their databases; our generous donors who support our work; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring victims home.
Image Credit: Background photo compliments of Google Image Capture Sep 2021 (c) Google United States; image, including the silhouette, compiled by Jack Friess, DNA Doe Project.
Last Updated: February 12, 2024