Genetic identification of a Slovenian prewar elite couple killed in 1944 was performed by typing autosomal and Y-chromosomal STRs, and phenotypic HIrisPlex SNPs for hair and eye color prediction were analyzed for the female skeleton using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The clandestine grave containing the couple’s skeletal remains was found in 2015 and only the partial remains were found. Living distant relatives could be found only for the male victim. Because of a lack of comparative reference samples, it was not possible to identify the female victim through autosomal and mitochondrial DNA typing. However, the possibility of comparison of eye and hair color with a painting exhibited in the City Museum of Ljubljana by the prominent Slovenian painter Ivana Kobilca existed. Nuclear DNA obtained from the samples was quantified using the PowerQuant System, and then STR typing was carried out with different autosomal and Y-STR kits. From 0.09-9.36 ng DNA/g of powder was obtained from teeth and bones analyzed. Complete autosomal and Y-STR profiles made it possible to identify the male skeleton via comparison with two nephews. For the female victim, predicted eye and hair color was compared to colors on the painting. Kobilca’s painting confirms the genetically predicted eye and hair color. After more than seventy years, the skeletal remains of the couple were handed over to their relatives, who buried the victims with dignity in a family grave.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.