Remains of Wyoming man identified 23 years later during forensic discovery

According to a news release from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, on Feb. 14, 2000, a man was walking his dog in a field near E. 8th St. and WCR 43 when he came across human remains. Weld County deputies and investigators arrived on scene and investigated and found no evidence of foul play.

A short time after the male was found, his remains were sent to an anthropologist, who determined that he was a white male, between 35 and 50 years old and six feet tall. The male’s body weight could not be determined, and it was believed that he had a possible tattoo in the middle of his back. There was no evidence of trauma and no cause or manner of death could be determined due to the man’s advanced state of decomposition. WCSO investigators named the unidentified man found on Valentine’s Day in 2000 as John Doe 2000.

In 2022, forensic genetic genealogy was conducted using DNA from the remains of John Doe 2000, leading to family members in Nevada willingly submitting their DNA to help solve this case.

In December 2023, Cold Case Detective Byron Kastilahn got the break he’d been waiting for when the genetic genealogy test results came back and John Doe 2000 was tentatively identified as Christopher Scott Case. Further genetic testing was conducted to confirm that the remains were indeed those of Christopher Case, and the test results confirmed this.

Before his death, Christopher Scott Case lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming and was last seen by his half-brother in 1998 in Nevada.

“This case was as cold as it gets. There was no evidence other than the human remains. Without forensic genetic genealogy, Christopher Case would never have been identified. After learning about forensic genetic genealogy in 2020, I wanted to try to include all of our unidentified human remains (UHR) cases in that process. To date, we have identified three UHR cases and I hope that all of them can eventually be identified,” said Weld County Sheriff’s Cold Case Unit Detective Byron Kastilahn.

Regardless of the passage of time, our commitment to solving all cold cases remains steadfast. In cold cases like Christopher’s, we relentlessly pursue investigative leads, use forensic tools and hope that he will be identified so that his story will be told and his loved ones will find peace of mind by getting the answers they deserve.

Cold cases in Wyoming

Wyoming law enforcement agencies work together on unsolved cases throughout the state of Wyoming. A brief summary of each case and the unsolved murder case is provided. Anyone with information regarding any of these cases is urged to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency or the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.

NOTE: This does not include all missing persons cases. These are cases that the DCI has classified as ‘cold’. For a complete list of missing persons, please visit the DCI website.

Anyone with information on the following cases is asked to call the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation at (307) 777-7181.

Gallery credit: Kolby Fedore

Dog training program at the Wyoming prison

Gallery credits: Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media

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