In June 1984, skeletonized human remains were discovered in a farm outbuilding near Troy, Missouri. Analysis performed at the time of recovery suggested that these were the remains of an adult male of European ancestry, between 40 and 80 years old at the time of death. He likely stood between 6’ to 6’2” and was dressed in expensive, formal clothing. The cause of death was a gunshot wound, and the manner of death was determined to be homicide. It was estimated that he had been deceased for approximately 6 months. Traditional forensic DNA testing was used to search CODIS and the case was entered into NamUs as UP 5012, but no match was found. Over the years, investigators pursued all available leads in an attempt to identify the victim, but in spite of these efforts, the homicide victim remained unidentified for 38 years.
After successfully working another unidentified remains case together, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office teamed up once again with Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) and Othram to work this case. SEMO anthropology students, supervised by Dr. Jennifer Bengtson, inventoried the remains and were able to refine the age-at-death estimate and other aspects of the biological profile. Skeletal trauma and individualizing characteristics were documented. Students also applied non-destructive testing to help select the best skeletal evidence to submit to Othram for DNA extraction and Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing. Extraction was successful and a comprehensive genealogical profile was built. Othram’s in-house genealogy team was able to generate new leads, which were delivered to the investigators at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Armed with this new information, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case detectives were able to meet with, interview, and ultimately obtain familial DNA samples which confirmed the long unidentified homicide victim as Jack Langeneckert. Langeneckert disappeared in 1982. Shortly after his initial disappearance, his vehicle was located at the St. Louis Airport. While the cause of death is known, the reason for the homicide is not. Thanks to the cooperation between public and private partners, we are able to pursue justice for Jack and his family. At the time of his disappearance, Jack was a Real Estate Agent working in the St. Louis Area.
Anybody with any information related to Jack’s case is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at (636) 528-8546 or contact Detective Alyssa Erson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips can be submitted via the LCSO website at https://www.lcsomo.gov.
This work was funded in large part by the Southeast Missouri State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and private donors to the University Foundation. The remaining amount was crowdfunded through the DNA Solves platform.