Message From The Sheriff
NICK WELDEN  ( read )
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2801 Jordan Road SW
Fort Payne, AL 35968
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1991 John Doe identified

From the Office of DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden:

Rainbow King 1.jpg Rainbow King.jpg

FORT PAYNE, Ala. - The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, in collaboration with various law enforcement agencies and forensic experts, is pleased to announce the successful identification of a previously unidentified individual, commonly known as John Doe, whose skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area near the intersection of County Road 51 and Alabama Highway 227 in rural DeKalb County, Alabama, on December 21, 1991.

The skeletal remains, initially found by a hunter, sparked a decades-long investigation involving the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, and the Fort Payne Police Department. Despite exhaustive efforts, including forensic analysis and nationwide inquiries, the identity of the deceased remained a mystery.

However, in late 2022, a breakthrough emerged when the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office was contacted by Mobile County Sheriff's Office genealogy analyst Olivia McCarter, proposing the use of investigative genetic genealogy to potentially identify John Doe. This innovative approach led to a collaborative effort between law enforcement and forensic experts, ultimately resulting in the identification of the individual.

In 2023, DNA samples extracted from the remains were sent to Intermountain Forensics, a non-profit laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, for analysis and whole-genome sequencing. Subsequently, the DNA data was uploaded to GEDMatch by Olivia McCarter and her team at Moxxy Forensic Investigations. This action yielded a close familial match, leading to the tentative identification of John Doe as Rainbow King of Tompkinsville, Kentucky.

Further investigation and coordination with living relatives of Rainbow King confirmed the identity. Chief Investigator Priscilla Padgett and Investigations Assistant Andrea Woodall traveled to Tompkinsville, Kentucky, accompanied by Monroe County Sheriff Dale Ford, to meet with the King family. A DNA sample collected during the meeting conclusively confirmed that the skeletal remains belonged to 22-year-old Rainbow Canyon King.


DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the incident:   "This identification is the result of tireless efforts and collaboration between multiple agencies and experts, it underscores the importance of innovative forensic techniques in resolving cold cases and providing closure to families. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office extends its deepest gratitude to all individuals and agencies involved in this significant breakthrough. The identification of Rainbow Canyon King brings closure to a decades-old mystery and allows his family to finally lay him to rest. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family during this time."

"God Bless!" Concluded Sheriff Welden.