GLADEWATER, Texas (KETK)-It’s been 20 years since a body was found on the side of the road by constructions crews off Highway 135 in Gregg County. Today a non-profit organization positively identified the remains.

Pamela Young was estimated to have been between the ages of 16-30, white or Hispanic female whose remains were found in 2002 just south of Swam City Road in Gregg County.

This thanks to a national non-profit organization that assists in the solving of cold case files with the use of DNA and genealogy research. The DNA Doe Project helped solve another East Texas cold case, Lavender Doe.


Early in 2020, Lieutenant Eddie Hope reached out to the DNA Doe Project to begin the process to use investigative genetic genealogy to identify Young, who was known as Gregg County Jane Doe 2002. A DNA profile was developed from a molar and was uploaded to GEDmatch Pro, a database that allows law enforcement to compare DNA profiles of Jane and John Doe unidentified remains to those of people who have uploaded their profiles to the public side of the database at GEDmatch.com.

The genealogy in this case was extremely complex, and it took almost two years for the experienced volunteers from the DNA Doe Project to narrow down the family tree to identify Pamela Young. A DNA sample from her daughter confirmed the identification.


After a case review was conducted by another team from the DNA Doe Project, team members working on Gregg County Jane Doe were able to use the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup to significantly narrow their focus and ultimately identify Young. According to Kevin Lord, team co-lead, there was a lot of intermarriage in the family making the case much more difficult to solve.

Communications with a few distant DNA relatives gave us crucial information we could not have learned from a paper trail, and we are so grateful for their assistance

Megan Street Pasika, team co-leader


The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; Astrea Forensics for extraction of DNA from a tooth; HudsonAlpha Discovery for sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch Pro and FTDNA for providing their databases; our generous donors who contributed to this case, including Adept Cosmetics; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring victims home.