30 January 2020 – Oklahoma City, OK – The DNA Doe Project (DDP), in conjunction with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), announces the identification of a female found in April 1980 as Tamara Lee Tigard. Traditional investigative attempts over 40 years by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office to identify her and locate her killer were unsuccessful. “This has been an extremely difficult case for our agency,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor, “one that has been extremely frustrating, but one we never gave up on.”
Tamara Lee Tigard, born in 1959 in California, was reported missing in March 1980. Her remains, covered with quicklime, were found by fisherman on the bank of the North Canadian River east of Jones, Oklahoma. Forensic investigation determined Tamara died from gunshot wounds.
In September 2018 Capt. Bob Green of OCSO contacted DDP. The process for obtaining usable DNA was challenging. Once the team was able to process the DNA and upload the results to GEDmatch, within a day and a half they identified a likely name for Lime Lady. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identification of Tamara Lee Tigard in December 2019 through a match of dental records obtained from the United States Army. The sheriff’s office is now focused on solving Tamara’s murder.
DDP wishes to acknowledge the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor and his staff who entrusted the case to DDP; the University of North Texas for providing DNA samples; Hudson Alpha Discovery for processing the DNA; Dr. Greg Magoon, Senior Research Engineer, Aerodyne Research Corp., contracting through Full Genomes Corp. for his work in bioinformatics; and GEDmatch for providing their database.
The DNA Doe Project, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to identify John and Jane Does and return them to their families. The genealogy research is pro bono, but they rely on donations to fund the lab costs when agencies cannot afford them. To date DDP has made over two dozen confirmed identifications.