JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has sent a portion of an unidentified man’s skeletal remains to a private lab in hopes of identifying him.

The TBI’s Unidentified Human Remains Initiative aims to identify people whose names remain unknown by partnering with Othram Inc., a private lab based out of Texas that uses DNA extraction and sequencing processes to identify remains. The initiative received a one-time $100,000 funding from the Tennessee General Assembly in 2022.

According to the TBI, 14 cold cases met the criteria to be included in the initiative. Portions of skeletal remains from ten of the unidentified individuals were sent to Otrham in December to hopefully be identified – including one who was found in Johnson County.

The TBI listed the individual as a white male between the ages of 51-60 who was found in Johnson County in 1977.

While no further information on the unidentified male was provided by the TBI, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), features a person on its online database that appears to match the case. The unidentified person on NamUs is also a white male between the ages of 51-60 found in Johnson County in 1977.

NamUs reports the individual was estimated to be about 5’10” and was specifically found near a stream in an orchard in the Shady Valley area. The person in the NamUs database was reportedly found with at least one limb missing.

News Channel 11 reached out to the TBI to confirm if the unidentified male on NamUs was the same whose remains were sent to Othram. In reply, a TBI spokesperson said the agency is “working with Othram on several cases” and plans to release more about the initiative in June.

The TBI website states other cases of unidentified people may be submitted by the agency before July 2023.