Just as genealogists have come to the rescue in connecting recently deceased individuals with next of kin who have proven difficult for coronors to identify and trace, genealogy is also being used as a possible tool in identifying amnesia victims. A 50/60 year old amnesia victim going by the name of Benjaman Kyle
recently had his Y-DNA tested in an attempt to learn something about his origins; resulting in a close 37 marker connection with several members of the POWELL Surname DNA surname project at FamilyTreeDNA
. Interestingly, just like the Unclaimed Persons Web site
, founded by Megan Smolenyak, which brings together genealogists with medical examiners, coroners, and investigators searching for next of kin of recently deceased individuals, amnesia victims also have groups of volunteers who help try to reunite them with family. You can read more of the discussion on Benjaman Kyle at WebSleuths.com
, which is where using genealogy as a possible tool was suggested.
The man who calls himself Benjaman Kyle was found beaten, blind and without identification in 2004 behind a dumpster at Burger King in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He believes he was born in Indianapolis and also thinks he spent time in Colorado. He's fairly certain that his first name is Benjaman (with an "a") and thinks he may have attended a Catholic school. At the Powell Surname DNA Project he's Y-DNA kit number 140314 where he appears to be a fairly close match to many members of the Joseph Powell group.