June 4, 2019
The DNA Doe Project has announced they’ve successfully uncovered the identity of the Marion County Jane Doe, whose skeletal remains were found in Grand Prairie Township, Ohio on March 10, 2007. She has been identified as Dana Nicole Lowrey of Minden, Louisiana.
The DNA Doe Project, a donation-run non-profit, is volunteer-led and works to analyze the DNA of John and Jane Does and compare them to potential matches – or “DNA-cousins” – through GEDmatch, a public genetic genealogy database. It took on the case in February 2019 and worked alongside the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. They were able to positively identify Dana through DNA taken from one of her daughters, which was obtained by Major Dustin Reynolds, a veteran detective with the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana.
Dana was 23 years old when she stopped contacting her two young daughters in May 2006. According to David Cobb, the father of the children, Dana was known to call multiple times a week, but when the calls stopped coming in he’d assumed his ex-girlfriend had simply moved on with her life.
In 2016, serial killer Shawn Grate confirmed Dana was his first victim. He confessed to the crime while being interviewed by authorities and said he’d abducted and murdered Dana, a door-to-door magazine salesperson, in his basement after the magazines she’d sold to his mother were never delivered. While he couldn’t at the time recall her name, he had stated he believed it to have been either “Diana” or “Dana”.
Grate is currently serving a life sentence and is sitting on death row in relation to other murder convictions.
Stories of the Unsolved will update this post as more details emerge.
Image Credit: Shreveport Times