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Body Found Wrapped in Tire Chains in Kentucky Lake 24 Years Ago Identified as Man Wanted by FBI


LOUISVILLE (KSP / News Release) – Kentucky State Police (KSP) Post 1 in Mayfield has positively identified remains found nearly 25 years ago thanks to the help of advanced DNA technology. On May 6, 1999, human remains were discovered in Lake Barkley, Lyon County, Kentucky, by two fishermen. The individual was located wrapped in heavy tire chains and anchored with a hydraulic jack.

At the time, investigators were unable to identify the male using traditional investigative techniques. In 2016, the body of the victim was exhumed in hopes that further examinations would help make an identification. Despite extensive efforts using DNA technology, dental examinations, forensic pathology, and other advanced forensic testing, the victim remained unidentified. A profile for the remains was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NAMUS) as case: UP# 75.

In early 2023, Kentucky State Police began engaging with Othram Inc., a private forensic lab specializing in forensic genealogy. A partnership with NAMUS and Othram Inc. allowed for advanced genealogy DNA testing of the remains.

Through this testing, a relative of the unidentified person was located, which allowed investigators to identify the remains as Roger Dale Parham.

Investigators immediately began researching Parham, which led to multiple revelations. In 1999, Parham was residing in Fort Smith, Arkansas. At that time, Parham was awaiting trial on various criminal charges. In March of 1999, Parham disappeared and was thought to have left the area to flee prosecution. The FBI obtained additional charges for Mr. Parham and conducted an ongoing investigation into his whereabouts. Until now, Parham’s disappearance remained a mystery.

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Roger Parham’s cause of death remains undetermined; however, due to the suspicious circumstances in which the remains were located, this case is being investigated as a homicide.

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