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A name with a face, human remains identified

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Ellis County Sheriff’s Office

ELLIS COUNTY - In September of 1998, Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a location near Highway 287 and Odom Road near Sardis, in reference to the discovery of a human skeleton near the railroad tracks.

The remains were later sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office, where the cause of death was ruled as a suicide.

The human remains remained unidentified with investigators continually seeking information about the person so that relatives could be notified.

In July of 2009, Sheriff’s Investigators submitted partial bone samples to the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth for additional DNA testing to be done on the remains.

A DNA profile was developed and a subsequent match was discovered in CODIS, a DNA database that was developed to match relatives with missing family members.

After the match was discovered, investigators compared known photographs of the missing person with a clay likeness that was developed from the skull, as well as compared known dental records of the missing person to positively identify the remains.

The remains were identified as Jacob W. Whitt, a 22-year-old male from Kennedale.

Whitt had been reported missing by relatives through the Forest Hill Police Department.

Sheriff Johnny Brown would like to thank the Texas Rangers and the Forest Hill

Police Department for their cooperation in this case, as well as the University of North Texas Health Science Center for their assistance in bringing this case to a conclusion for the family of Whitt.

The original crime scene was investigated in 1998 by Sergeant Jeremy Osteen, with Investigator Luis Valladares conducting the follow up investigation that resulted in the DNA identification of Whitt.

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