Historic Homicide DNA Processing
Help SPD Solve an Unsolved Case
Thank you to all the donors who helped raise the money needed to obtain the DNA extraction and forensic genealogy analysis for the 4-Mile Rock/Magnolia case (please find additional details in the Magnolia tab below). Your donations allowed the Seattle Police Department to team up with Othram, which offers in-house processing of evidence, including DNA extraction, enrichment, and repair, and sequencing and genealogy.
The work completed by Othram provided SPD detectives the information needed to identify the human remains and connect with the individual’s family.
We are grateful to Detective Rolf Nelson and his team, who worked tirelessly to identify the remains and bring closure to this family. If you would like to support the continued DNA extraction/genetic genealogy analysis needed to solve other unsolved cases, please visit our donation page.
Crowdfunding to support DNA testing has been successfully used in other parts of Washington state. In 2022, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department launched fundraising efforts to test the DNA of a foot found in a sneaker that was discovered in the Elwha River in 2021. The test revealed the foot belonged to a woman who disappeared in 2018.
In 2017 and 2018, multiple body parts washed ashore in the area of 4-Mile Rock near Seattle’s Discovery Park.
A pair of distinct Nike Air Jordans was found with the remains.
Despite exhaustive efforts by Seattle Police Detectives and the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, they had not been able to determine the identity of the person or how they died.
With the department unable to invest the expected cost of $9,000 for DNA testing, in early 2023, the Seattle Police Foundation launched crowdfunding efforts to pay for the DNA test in hopes of helping solve the case and provide closure to the person’s family.
Thank you to all the donors who helped raise the money needed to obtain the DNA extraction and forensic genealogy analysis for this case. For the lab work, the Seattle Police Department teamed up with Othram, which offers in-house processing of evidence, including DNA extraction, enrichment, and repair, and sequencing and genealogy.
The initial DNA test identified one relative of the victim and a family tree with approximately 15 names of other possible relatives. Detectives worked through the contacts until they reached the Bossart family in Illinois. They confirmed their son Paul J. Bossart, Jr owned Air Jordans similar to the ones found with the remains. Additional DNA testing confirmed a match with the Bossart family. Paul Bossart, Jr left home in November 2017 at the age of 33, presumably to relocate to Seattle and was not heard from again.
The circumstances of how Bossart ended up in the water remain unknown.
Paul Bossart Jr is survived by his parents and a younger brother. They shared a statement showing their appreciation for detectives, the Foundation, and those who donated to support this case:
For our family this ends many years of wonder and gives us closure. We wish to thank our friends and family t
hat have known, assisted and reached out in comfort, along with Detective Norton in Seattle who has been on this case from the beginning. We are asking that anyone who wishes to do a kindness in memory of Paul we ask that you make a donation to the Seattle Police Foundation https://seattlepolicefoundation.org/ in Paul’s name.
About Historic Homicide DNA Processing
The Seattle Police Foundation strives to be nimble, receptive, and responsive to new needs as they come up. Our grant program has been a powerful asset, helping to amplify the voices of the men and women of the Seattle Police Department as they work proactively to research, request, and obtain the tools they need to better perform their jobs.
In 2019, we received an application for an urgent grant request from SPD’s Homicide Unit requesting funding for private laboratory DNA analysis that would potentially identify suspects in unsolved cold cases. These tests are normally completed by the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory Division (CLD), but there is such a large backlog of requests that it takes years for testing to be completed. Recognizing its potential for bringing closure to grieving families, the Seattle Police Foundation awarded the grant and is committed to providing continued support in the future.
“Potentially identifying, arresting, and prosecuting homicide offenders will make Seattle a safer community, provide closure to the families of victims, and send the message to other offenders that it does not matter how long ago a crime occurred, or how much time has gone by, the department will not give up on pursuing justice,” said Detective Rolf Norton.
Your support of the Seattle Police Foundation helps bring closure to families and helps reduce the backlog of cases awaiting DNA analysis.
Join us today in supporting our detectives as they work to solve historic homicide cases. Your donation helps provide external DNA testing and analysis to help our detectives get the answers they need.