Monroe County homicide victim Steven Gabbard identified through DNA

DNA has been used to identify homicide 38-year-old victim Steven Gabbard of Louisville, Kentucky, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Gabbard’s remains were found by a turkey hunter in May 2004.

The MCSO released the following Monday:

Image courtesy of Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Press Release

October 17, 2022

         The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has made positive identification of skeletal remains found by a turkey hunter in May of 2004. Evidence recovered from the site located on Richardson Road, near Lake Lemon in northeast Monroe County, indicates a homicide likely had occurred.

Monroe County Sheriff investigators recently obtained funding for a forensic genealogy DNA examination through Othram, a private firm that assists law enforcement in solving unidentified remains, by comparing DNA of family members with those recovered in an investigation.

The remains are confirmed to be those of Steven Gabbard of Louisville KY, aged 38 at the time he was reported missing by family members. He was last known to have been in Indianapolis, IN. An investigation regarding Gabbard by authorities in the Indianapolis area from this same time period, indicated he may have been met with foul play.

Through the years, attempts to identify these remains was made by entry of DNA into a federal database; facial reconstruction through forensic computer programs and modeling clay methods; and numerous press releases requesting assistance had been conducted.

         A match of the remains entered into the NCIC Unidentified Persons database to this investigation was made, among many other potential matches from other cases across the United States. Detective Alex Hahn examined matches related to this case and pursued Mr. Gabbard as a potential match. Attached is a link to NAMUS for media to review https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/9476/attachments?nav

In 2022, Detective Hahn received special funding from the Monroe County Council, to contract with Othram, for further DNA extraction and genealogy. During this process, Othram requested a DNA comparison with Steven Gabbard’s nephew with the remains from 2004.   Positive identification was made last week.  Steven Gabbard’s nephew and other family members have been notified.

Monroe County Investigators have been in contact with the investigating agencies, regarding this information.  

Detective Alexander Hahn

Sheriff Brad Swain

Image courtesy of Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

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