Challenging DNA of Human Remains ends 9-year Mystery

Clara Rogers

Remains found identified as missing Clay County Woman On July 09, 2010, Clara Vaughn Rogers, age 74, was reported missing from her home @ 4237 Cheaha Road, Munford, in the Northern most part of Clay County. Joseph Edward Rogers, husband, reported Clara Rogers missing at approximately 3pm that date. Mr. Rogers told Sheriff Alexander and Sheriff’s Investigators that he had last seen his wife around 8am that morning when he left the residence to cut grass and do yard work.

Upon returning, Mr. Rogers stated he could not locate his wife anywhere in the residence or on the property. Mr. Rogers stated all vehicles were accounted for and no one had been at the residence that day. Mr. Rogers told deputies his wife suffered from Dementia and had possibly wandered away from the house.

Sheriff’s deputies, Clay County Rescue Squad personnel and the Alabama Department of Public Safety Rotor Wing Search & Rescue personnel were dispatched to the mountainous wooded area around the Rogers Residence attempting to locate Mrs. Rogers. In all, personnel searched the wooded and mountainous area for approximately 3 days in an attempt to locate the missing woman. Those searches proved unsuccessful.

In June of 2011, Sheriff Latham organized a search effort with Cadaver K-9 and law enforcement personnel around the Roger’s residence. Later in 2011 and thru the spring of 2013, several efforts were made by Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies aided by members of the Talladega Sheriff’s Office, Lineville Police Department and Ashland Police Department in the search of Salt Creek and surrounding area of the Rogers home.

On June 1st 2013, a group of hikers were hiking Salt Creek Falls and found what appeared to be parts of human remains in Salt Creek just north of the falls in Clay County. Those remains were received by Sheriff’s Investigators and transported to the States Forensics Lab in Montgomery. Results to positively identify the identity was challenging.

Clay County Sheriff’s Investigators retrieved DNA samples from a Rogers family member in an effort for a more precise match. Those remains and the DNA samples were then transfered to the FBI Lab Quantico, Va.

A report to Clay County Sheriff’s Office from the FBI Lab dated September 27, 2018 confirmed that the remains found on June 1st, 2013 were the remains of the missing Clay County woman, Clara Vaugh Rogers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rogers family as they are able to have closure in their time of sorrow, states Sheriff Latham.

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