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Several years ago, Ms. Egan had her DNA analyzed, and links were found to people in the United States (including relatives of Thomas Jefferson). More recently, links were also found to the grandparents of the man that Jo Thomson eventually married.” (Prosper Thomson)

Colleen Fitzpatrick, a forensic genealogist who has worked with Dr. Abbott but is not involved in the exhumation, said the analysis of his remains could answer some questions about the man, such as where he was born and whether he died by poison, unintentional suffocation or some other cause.

New York Times 21 May 2021


“Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD, the founder of Identifinders International, is widely recognized as the founder of modern Forensic Genealogy.  She has worked several hundred cold case homicides for law enforcement using genetic genealogy analysis.  Dr. Fitzpatrick is a member of the Vidocq Society.”


“Robin Thomson died in 2009, but he was survived by his ex-wife, Roma Egan and a daughter, Rachel. Abbott wrote a letter to Roma, asking if she knew anyone who resembled the Somerton Man. Yes, she replied: her ex-husband. Abbott went to see her and convinced her of the genetic link, which is how Fitzpatrick, the DNA genealogist, entered the investigation.” 24 September 2016.


Rachel Egan learned her parents had met when they were both dancers at the Australian Ballet School.

“Robin got a job with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, and Roma went over to New Zealand,” Ms Egan says.

“I was an accidental conception, and they didn’t have the means to keep me, so I was adopted out.”

Ms Egan, an only child, had grown up in New Zealand.

“I always felt a sense of disconnection with my family. One of the things I had a passion for was ballet. In my family there was no ballet connection,” she says.

When she was at university, she received a letter. “I was told by a social worker that I had in fact been adopted. I was relieved, I felt a sense of happiness.”

“For Ms Egan, finding love with Professor Abbott came with a cost. Her biological mother, Roma, was suspicious.”

“The relationship had moved very quickly, and she was worried that Professor Abbott had married her daughter for her DNA, even though she had already agreed to let him use it.”

“Forced to choose between them, her relationship with her mother broke down. “I have utilised Rachel’s DNA already,” Professor Abbott admits.”

ABC Australian Story, November 2019.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Peter Halton #

    I saw the Somerton man story on ABC programme(Australian Story)
    I am very intrigued about this story as presented on ABC.
    Could you please advice me of the final outcome of the Somerton case once the DNA has been sorted in relation to The Somerton man.
    Rachel seems a lovely person.I would very much appreciate if she could make contact with me to discuss the case further.
    My mobile is 0419910225.
    I live in Western Australia.

    December 27, 2021
    • Pete, if the lady ever does come by here, which I doubt, perhaps she might give you a bell. On the other hand, if you get a few non-relevant phone calls from folks of a mischievous nature let me know and I’ll delete your mobile number. As far as alerting you to any DNA results, that depends on how patient you are … we’re talking many years here, brother.

      December 27, 2021

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