SEBASTOPOL, CALIFORNIA – The DNA Doe Project (DDP) announces its first successful DNA identification of a John Doe sponsored by its Doe Fund Me crowdfunding program. DDP agreed to feature the Lyle Stevik case in its first fundraising campaign because of its high social media profile – the group took only 12 hours to raise the funds needed to cover the DNA analysis on the case. Numerous
theories have been advanced about Lyle’s true identity, but it was only through DDP’s innovative application of genetic genealogy to forensic cases that he was finally identified. The name “Lyle Stevik” was the alias the man provided when he checked into a motel in Amanda Park, Washington in 2001. He committed suicide a couple of days later.
“Unlike ‘Buckskin Girl’ — whom DDP identified in only four hours — “Lyle’s” case took hundreds of hours of painstaking genealogical research by a team of over 20 skilled and dedicated volunteers,” said DNA Doe Co-Founders and Executive Directors Dr. Margaret Press and Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick. “In the end, all the DNA matches, all the trees, and all the research paid off. This effort took persistence, good solid genealogy, and detective work. We look forward to applying what we learned to future cases”.
The DNA Doe Project praised those who are committed to helping others through genetic genealogy. “Most of all, our success depended on the countless people who had taken direct-to-consumer DNA tests, and who had uploaded their results to [the genetic genealogy website] GEDmatch,” said Press and Fitzpatrick. “They weighed the risks and benefits, and happily the benefits won out. Lyle is proof of that.”
The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office announced that they have notified Lyle’s family of his death. DDP has made an appeal to the internet community to honor the family’s wish for privacy in the wake of the unexpected news. They have requested that none of their names be made public.
The DNA Doe Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit humanitarian initiative that works with law enforcement agencies, coroners, and medical examiners nationwide to identify John and Jane Does and return them to their families. For more information, please visit www.dnadoeproject.org