Body Found 25 Years Ago in Lake Finally Has a Name

Arkansas' Roger Dale Parham, whose body was found in Kentucky, had been an FBI fugitive
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2023 10:00 AM CST
Man Found Anchored in Lake in 1999 Was Wanted by the FBI
Roger Dale Parham.   (Kentucky State Police)

Nearly 25 years after a body was found wrapped in chains and anchored in a lake in Kentucky, authorities have identified the individual as a man who was on the run from the FBI. Roger Dale Parham was arrested for rape involving a minor in Arkansas in November 1998 and released on bond before failing to turn up for a court hearing the following March, per WPSD. Two months later, on May 6, 1999, a fisherman discovered a body—"wrapped in heavy tire chains and anchored with a hydraulic jack," per ABC News—hundreds of miles away at Lake Barkley in Kentucky's Lyon County. The body couldn't be identified using "traditional investigative techniques" at the time, state police said.

The body was exhumed in 2016 for further testing using "DNA technology, dental examinations, forensic pathology, and other advanced forensic testing," but authorities still failed to come up with a name. That changed this year when state police performed advanced genealogy DNA testing through a partnership with the private forensic genealogy lab Othram Inc., per ABC. "Through this testing, a relative of the unidentified person was located, which allowed investigators to identify the remains as Roger Dale Parham," state police said. Authorities are still trying to determine how he died at the age of 52. "Due to the suspicious circumstances in which the remains were located, this case is being investigated as a homicide," Kentucky State Police said, per WSIL. (More cold cases stories.)

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