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UNIDENTIFIED

Missing Raleigh woman matched to body in Durham

Posted on October 17, 2021

Updated on October 18, 2021

Local newsUnidentified

Unidentified is a weekly series examining the more than 120 cases of unidentified human remains discovered in North Carolina. News Editor Lindell J. Kay produces each installment for The Enterprise of Spring Hope and other Restoration NewsMedia newspapers.

Click here to read previous installments in the series, along with case updates and additional resources, on Kay's Unidentified blog.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

Roglio

Roglio

DURHAM — For the third time this year, a group of volunteers has used forensic genealogy to help authorities in North Carolina identify an unknown body.

Evanir Rosa Roglio, 69, left behind a note when she vanished from her north Raleigh home in 2010. The note said she was leaving, she would not be found and she was passing along some personal items to her granddaughter.

Evanir moved to North Carolina from Brazil 15 years prior, and some family members believed she had returned. However, she left behind her cellphone and passport.

Nearly a decade later and six miles away, a teenage girl working on a school photo project in neighboring Durham found a body in a closet of an abandoned building, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing and unidentified body cases across the United States.

The body was badly decomposed and partially eaten by animals. A noose was found next to the body, Christin Reimann, a detective with the Durham Police Department, told The Enterprise last week.

Reimann said Leslie Kaufman’s work was indispensable in making a positive identification.

“We just want to restore identities and provide closure for families,” said Kaufman, a volunteer forensic genealogist who works with the Carolina Cold Case Initiative-Unidentified Project, a group that combines DNA, anthropology, genealogy and investigative work to match unidentified remains with the missing and the murdered.

Kaufman teamed up with N.C. State University forensic anthropologist Ann Ross. The group is building an impressive track record.

In September, the Wilkesboro Police Department announced the identity of a body found in the woods in 2019 as 29-year-old Stephen Blake North, originally from Ohio.

In January, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said Kaufman’s group helped identify 24-year-old Michael Joe Wesley Baker of Cameron, whose body had been found in 2005.

Whether washed ashore, unearthed in shallow graves, stumbled upon in the woods, discovered in abandoned houses, killed on busy roads or located in rivers, ponds and along railroad tracks, more than 120 bodies remain unidentified in North Carolina. This is one of their stories.

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