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22 of April, 2019
Dr. Yuri Melekhovets Provides Insight on a Missing Person Case
Dr. Yuri Melekhovets Provides Insight on a Missing Person Case

As an experienced professional who has been making strides within the genetic testing industry for many years now, Dr. Yuri Melekhovets, director of Prenatal Genetics Center, has been consulted on many cases requiring clarification through genetic testing. In addition to overseeing the provision of services at the Center, such as the prenatal paternity test and the prenatal baby gender test, Dr. Melekhovets has also provided insight on unusual situations, which have been documented in many a news article. One of these unusual cases involves a boy who went missing in Victoria, BC nearly 30 years ago.


The Missing Boy We Are Still Searching For

Michael Dunahee, a four-year-old boy who went missing from a playground in 1991, continues to be sought after by his family to this day. The advent of genetic testing technology, including the ability to perform a prenatal paternity test or prenatal baby gender test, has made it possible to test males who bear a resemblance to Michael and are the appropriate age. In an article published by Mississauga.com, it was reported that a blood sample was requested of a man from Surrey, BC to determine if he is, in fact, Michael Dunahee.


The man in question, who is only known by the username Canuckels, which he used to post on the canucks.com message boards, was asked to participate in a DNA test due to his “remarkable resemblance” to Michael. In addition to looking similar to the missing boy, this man was born in the same year as Michael and did not seem to have a strong recollection of his childhood; he moved a lot and lost contact with his father at a young age. This information alone is not convincing enough to get Michael’s parents’ hopes up, but it doesn’t hurt to have a genetic test conducted to clear up any doubts. Genetic testing is often the solution for clearing up doubts regarding identity, such as in the case of a prenatal paternity test.


The Dunahee case is one that pulled at heartstrings across the country. Michael’s disappearance led to one of Canada’s largest investigations for a missing person and received much media attention.     


A Breakdown of the Science Behind This Type of Genetic Test

Dr. Melekhovets commented on this story, explaining how the DNA test would be used to determine if the anonymous BC man is Michael Dunahee. The laboratory director speculated that the man’s DNA sample would most likely be compared to samples obtained from Michael’s parents. While comparison to a direct sample from Michael would be ideal, and could be obtained from his old hairbrush or clothes, it is still possible to obtain accurate test results using the parents’ DNA.


As Dr. Melekhovets explains, DNA is extracted from the blood samples taken from the people of interest, and a DNA profile is produced for each person. These profiles would be used to compare the level of similarity between the anonymous man and each of Michael’s parents, and it could be determined if the man is their offspring. This type of test bears a similar purpose to that of the prenatal paternity test that is offered by Prenatal Genetics Center.


*In an update to this story, which broke in 2013, it has been reported that the anonymous BC man’s genetic test results have proven him not to be Michael Dunahee. The search for Michael continues.


At Prenatal Genetics Center, we offer non-invasive procedures for performing genetic testing of babies after only 10 weeks into a pregnancy. Our services include a prenatal baby gender test and a prenatal paternity test—both of which only require a blood sample from the mother, and DNA samples from potential fathers for the paternity test. Contact us today for fast, accurate and affordable prenatal genetic testing services!

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