On January 2, 2015 the body of a white male was found along an access road on Commerce Boulevard in Rohnert Park, California. It was determined the man was between the ages of 40 to 55 years old; he was estimated to be 5′ 11″ tall and weighed 220 lbs. He had a full gray beard, but, although partially bald, the rest of his hair was brown. He wore prescription, aviator-style glasses with a metal frame. A black mountain bike with a towable child carrier attached was found near the body. A number of journals were in the carrier containing writing indicating the deceased has an interest in mathematics, physics, and science. Authorities speculate the man was a transient traveling through the area.
NamUs ID: UP13589
Date Body Found: January 2, 2015
Race: White / Caucasian
Estimated Age: 40-55
Estimated PMI: Unknown
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Agency of Jurisdiction
Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department
Andrew Clark, Detective
Link to More Information
On December 9, 2021 Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) announced that the remains found in 2015 along an access road on Commerce Boulevard in Rohnert Park, California were identified as those of Stephen Patrick Archer. SCSO and DNA Doe Project (DDP) partnered to use DNA and genealogy to identify the remains in the six-year-old cold case that became known as Rohnert Park John Doe 2015.
Stephen Archer was born on January 7, 1966 and lived in Washington State during the 1980s. He worked briefly for the Boeing Company. It’s unclear when he arrived in Rohnert Park. His body was discovered on January 2, 2015, along with a mountain bike with a towable child carrier attached containing a number of his journals. Archer was 48 at the time of his death. Investigators do not believe his death was suspicious.
In April 2021 Detective Clark of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office sought the help of the DNA Doe Project to identify the remains. At the time, SCSO had already uploaded the DNA file to GEDmatch, a DNA database that is searchable by law enforcement. DDP case leaders took the additional step of uploading the DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, where they located further matching relatives and eventually narrowed the search to Mr. Archer.
DNA Doe Project CEO, Margaret Press, stated, “We sincerely thank Detective Andrew Clark and Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick for entrusting this case to us. The advances in DNA technology and the expertise of our team of experienced investigative genetic genealogists allowed us to identify a candidate quickly. We are honored to have played a part in giving Stephen Patrick Archer his name back and returning him to his loved ones. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”
DDP wishes to acknowledge the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: Detective Andrew Clark and Sheriff Mark Essick of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office; the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office; GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA for providing their databases; and our extraordinary team of DDP investigative genetic genealogists.
SDGATE article has more information about the search for the identity of Rohnert Park John Doe 2015.
Image Credit: C. McConville
Last Updated: December 10, 2021