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Rapid DNA helps identify Leslie County man - two remain charged in connection with his death

From Kentucky State Police -

Hazard, KY. (March 2, 2022) – On June 25, 2018, Kentucky State Police, Post 13, Hazard, began investigating a missing person in Leslie County. The victim who was reported missing was 27 year old Tyler North.

During the investigation, detectives developed two main suspects, the former wife of North, Lena Michelle Collett North, and her current boyfriend, former Leslie County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Lewis.

On September 22, 2020, Detective’s Vicki Day and Clayton Stamper presented the investigation to the Leslie County Grand Jury. They returned a murder indictment on Lewis and Collett North. On October 7, 2020, Kentucky State Police, Post 13, Detective’s and Troopers served the indictments, and the two were lodged in the Leslie County Detention Center.

On October 15, 2020, human remains were brought to the Leslie County Sheriff’s Office discovered in the area of Glady Branch and Little Stinnett Road. The remains were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for examination and I.D.

On March 2, 2022, Kentucky State Police, Post 13, Hazard, received information that Rapid DNA Analysis was utilized and the remains located were confirmed to be Tyler North. When the human remains were first located, KSP was unable to obtain a DNA profile. Without the Rapid DNA Analysis, it could have potentially taken many years before an identification could have been made.

Rapid DNA Analysis is a fully automated (hands-free) process of developing a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) core profile from a reference sample. The process consists of automated extraction, amplification, separation, detection, and allele calling without human intervention.

Jeremy Lewis along with Lena Michelle Collett North await trial scheduled for later this year. This incident remains under investigation by Detective Clayton Stamper.

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