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Man Charged for Killing His Wife 17 Years after Police Found Her Legs in a Dumpster

Gracious Egedegbe
May 19, 2021
12:40 A.M.
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Seventeen years after the San Diego police found the body of a woman, the mystery around her was unraveled, and her husband has been arrested in connection to the killing.


The San Diego County Sheriff's office announced the building reports on a 17-year-old case surrounding the death of a woman now identified as 53-year-old Laurie Potter.

The case was reopened after investigations were technologically traced. According to Sheriff's Lieutenant Thomas Seiver, the officers in charge discovered Laurie's identity through genetic genealogy testing.

A police officer's car on the street. | Photo: Pixabay


This was possible because when officers initially got on the case almost twenty years ago, the remains of a woman were found in a dumpster. Now those remains have been identified as Laurie's.

Although further details have not been revealed, the San Diego officers have arrested Laurie's husband, Jack Dennis Potter, as he was accused of murdering her.

A police officer. | Photo: Pixabay


Authorities have him in custody due to "substantial and convulsive evidence." He was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Rancho Cucamonga, and he is being held without bail.

According to Lt. Seiver, the police were able to decipher Laurie's identity, all thanks to investigative genetic genealogy. After Laurie's case came to light again, they connected her genetics to a distant relative.

Because they could not identify the victim, the case died down.


And that was when there was further retracing, which dated back to the 1800s. Soon as they connected more dots finding out where she lived, who her friends were, and other relations, all these led to Jack's arrest.

Authorities noted that Laurie was not reported missing, as her family members still had their hopes up that she was alive as of 2003. Presently, the suspect's motive has not yet been revealed, and he is yet to enter a plea.


Genetic genealogy is usually used to identify a suspect. However, Laurie's case proved to be an exception as the method was used to determine the victim. According to records, her case was a first.

In 2003, officers found a pair of legs around the time she went missing, but because they could not identify the victim, the case died down. However, 2020 turned out productive when her DNA was traced.

A portrait photo of a genetic test in the lab. | Photo: Getty Images

Twenty of Laurie's relatives were examined, and her adult son was also contacted. After the DNA testing asserted that it was indeed Laurie, her family was relieved that the prime suspect was apprehended.

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