CLALLAM COUNTY, Wash. (KOIN) – A foot found in Port Angeles, Washington has been identified as a woman who went missing in 2018, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
In December 2021, police said the foot was discovered near the mouth of the Elwha River in a size eight New Balance shoe, but the case went cold without any additional details.
Last year, the sheriff’s office began working with Othram Labs, which uses forensic genealogy to solve similar cold cases. Ultimately, Othram was able to provide a possible identification for the foot and a list of surviving family members based on the DNA source.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office says it was able to contact a surviving family member who then provided a DNA sample.
Using that sample, Othram Labs was able to confirm the foot belonged to Sequim resident Jerilyn L. Smith, who was 68 at the time she was first reported missing on Jan. 7, 2018.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the case “ultimately helped a family with having some semblance of closure during the grieved loss of their loved one.”
The cause of Smith’s death has not been determined but authorities tell Nexstar’s KOIN that she is believed to have drowned in the area where her foot was found and a presumptive death certificate has been issued.