On Monday, September 17, 2001, an unidentified man was found hanged to death in a motel room in the Lake Quinault Inn, a motel in Amanda Park, Washington. The man registered as “Lyle Stevik”, the name of a character from a 1987 novel by Joyce Carol Oates “You Must Remember This” and left a note behind in the room. He was thought to have died the previous night. With the note simply stating “for the room” he left enough money to cover the remaining nights of his stay. “Stevik” had green/hazel eyes, short black hair, and was thought by some to be of Native American or Hispanic ancestry.
NamUs ID:: 11100 (archived)
Date Body Found: September 17, 2001
Estimated Age: 25
Estimated PMI: 1 day
Location: Amanda Park, WA
Agency of Jurisdiction
Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office
Rick Scott, Sheriff
Status: Identified (name withheld)
On May 8, 2018, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office (GHCSO) announced that the suicide victim known as “Lyle Stevik” was identified with the assistance of the DNA Doe Project (DDP). DDP had been working closely with GHCSO since January 2018 to search for the victim’s identity through the use of genetic genealogy, and had submitted a candidate to GHCSO on May 1, 2018. The deceased’s family has been notified, and they are now dealing privately with their loss. They have requested that none of their names or other information about the deceased be made public. We honor that request.
DDP was originally approached by a Reddit user, and when it became clear followers on the Lyle Stevik Reddit group would fully fund the case, we contacted Lane Youmans, Grays Harbor Coroner about taking the case. It was then that DDP put up its first Donate button to raise funds to cover the lab fees.
In January 2018 sample material was sent directly to Dr. Weining Tang at AMD Biotech for testing. Sequencing went smoothly and it was not difficult to obtain a DNA file. On March 22, 2018 the profile was uploaded to GEDmatch. Hundreds of hours of hard work by a team of approximately 20 skilled and dedicated volunteers followed to track down a candidate for Lyle. In the end, all the DNA matches, all the trees, and all the research paid off. This took persistence, good solid genealogy, and detective work.
The DNA Doe Project could not have identified Lyle alone and wishes to thank the Grays Harbor Coroner, Lane Youmans, for entrusting this case to us; Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate; Lieutenant Brad Johansson, Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office; Dr. Weining Tang at AMD Biotech; Justin Loe, Full Genomes Corp.; Dr. Greg Magoon, Aerodyne Research Corp.; GEDmatch; and our team of dedicated DDP volunteers for their assistance with the case. Further, we wish to thank each and every one of our donors who helped fund the DNA testing costs for Lyle. We’d also like to thank those who have put their hearts and souls into giving Lyle his name back. Most of all, our success depended on the countless people who had taken direct-to-consumer DNA tests, who had uploaded their results to GEDmatch.
DDP wishes to extend our condolences, support, and compassion to Lyle’s family. Those who truly care about Lyle can honor him best by respecting his family’s wishes for privacy.
For more information on the search for the identity of Lyle Stevik:
Wikipedia (Lyle Stevik)
|This was a Doe-Nate funded case. The goal of $1,800 was reached and the case was fully funded. We extend our gratitude to all those of you who graciously sent in donations to cover the costs of the DNA testing and sequencing.|
PHOTO CREDIT: Carl Koppelman
Last Updated: May 11, 2022