DNA shows crash victim isn't missing man

Test dashes hopes of Glen Burnie woman

November 09, 2001|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

A Glen Burnie woman whose son disappeared in 1995 has learned through DNA testing that a young man who died in Georgia more than five years ago - and whom she believed to be her missing child - is not her son.

Debra Mulligan has been waiting since August for the results of tests that compared Mulligan's DNA with genetic material saved from the autopsy of an unidentified car accident victim in Georgia. The young man lay comatose and anonymous for a year in Atlanta's Grady Hospital before dying in June 1996 of head injuries suffered when he was hit by a car.

"I'm numb," said Mulligan, who had become convinced since she submitted a DNA sample taken from her mouth for comparison purposes that the accident victim was her son, Donald Lee Izzett Jr.

The physical resemblance between Izzett and the victim was striking, but Mulligan initially had doubts because the accident victim had tattoos.

"I had a hard time believing he would have gotten tattoos," she said of her son, "but once I got past that everything just matched."

Dr. Carol A. Terry, an associate medical examiner with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, said she frequently has seen negative results from what had seemed to be promising matches between missing people and the unidentified cases in her office.

"We hoped it was him, but in my experience there have been times when I thought for sure and then have been disappointed by the DNA," Terry said.

Mulligan, who learned this week about the DNA test results, hoped that if the unidentified young man proved to be her son, she could bury him next to his grandmother in Cumberland.

Mulligan, a caseworker with Anne Arundel County's Department of Social Services, said she will continue to search for her son.

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