John Hogan

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department announced on August 4, 2021, that John Patrick Hogan has been identified as the lead suspect in the October 9, 1980 murder of 20-year-old Michelle Louise Wyatt in Santee, California. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Hogan.

Wyatt was raped and strangled to death by an intruder into her condo at Kerrigan Court. Investigators state that she was strangled with her own telephone cord. From witness statements, investigators believe an intruder knocked on Michelle’s door that night shortly after her boyfriend left and locked the door. Neighbors heard screaming soon after he left, but no one phoned 911. Her body was discovered the following morning by her roommate.

Semen was recovered from a sexual assault kit taken at Wyatt’s autopsy, and a DNA profile of two males were developed in June of 2000. One of these samples belonged to Wyatt’s boyfriend, who was eliminated as a suspect. The other sample was entered into CODIS, but this produced no new leads. A familial search of CODIS was performed in March of 2020, and this also turned up no hits.

There is currently no information as to who conducted the FGG investigation was. Investigators reportedly used targeted kinship testing in this case – the relative matches consisted of distant relatives, whom investigators approached and asked for assistance in providing DNA samples for further genealogical testing. This eventually led investigators to close relatives who were able to identify Hogan as the source of the crime scene semen sample.

It was reported that, over the years, about 90 suspects were interviewed, most of whom provided DNA samples. A familial search of the California law enforcement database was also performed, with no results.

Hogan is reported to have died in Phoenix, Arizona in 2004 at the age of 42 from a methamphetamine overdose – on October 9, 2004, exactly 24 years after Wyatt’s murder.


Alford, Abbie. “San Diego Parents of Cold Case Murder Victim Still Want Closure After Suspect Found Dead.” CBS News 8, August 5, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021.

Arnold, Thomas K. “Unhappy Ending: Michelle Wyatt Murder Solved with Genetic Genealogy.” San Diego Reader, June 1, 2022. Accessed June 8, 2022.

Figueroa, Teri. “41 Years After San Diego Woman’s Rape and Murder, DNA Reveals a Suspect.” Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “Cold-Case Homicide Investigation – Santee.” San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, August 4, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021.

Saunders, Mark. “Investigators Use Genetic Genealogy to Identify Suspect in Cold Case Murder of Santee Woman.” ABC News 10 San Diego, August 4, 2021. Last Modified August 5, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021.


First Name John
Last Name Hogan
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2020-09-00
Case Cleared 2021-08-04
IGG Org nd


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1512 Michelle Wyatt 20 1980-10-09 Santee, CA San Diego CSD Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.