Body found in lake 24 years ago is identified as FBI fugitive

Human remains wrapped in heavy tyre chains in Lake Barkley in 1999 belong to Roger Dale Parham

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 19 December 2023 22:34 GMT
Body found in Kentucky lake in 1999 identified as FBI fugitive Roger Dale Parham
Body found in Kentucky lake in 1999 identified as FBI fugitive Roger Dale Parham (KSP)

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Louise Thomas

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A body found in a Kentucky lake nearly 25 years ago has finally been identified by DNA technology as an FBI fugitive.

Human remains wrapped in heavy tyre chains with a hydraulic jack as an anchor were found in Lake Barkley in May 1999. Now police say they belong to Roger Dale Parham.

“At the time, investigators were unable to identify the male using traditional investigative techniques,” Kentucky State Police said in a statement.

The body was exhumed in 2016 but investigators were again unable to identify it. Then in 2023 Kentucky State Police began a partnership with Othram Inc, a private forensic lab that specialises in forensic geology.

They found a relative of the unidentified body which allowed investigators to identify the remains as belonging to Parham.

Kentucky State Police says that Parham was arrested on 21 November 1998 on charges of rape involving a minor. He was released on bail and never showed up for his court date.

“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 in an effort to flee prosecution,” KSP said.

“The FBI obtained additional charges for Mr. Parham and conducted an ongoing investigation into his whereabouts. Until now, Parham’s disappearance remained a mystery.”

KSP says that the cause of death is undetermined but because of the circumstances of the death it is being investigated as a homicide.

Anyone who has information regarding the death of Parham is urged to call Kentucky State Police Post 1- Mayfield at (270)-856-3721.

Tips can also be provided by accessing the Kentucky State Police website at

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