Romanov Mystery Solved
THE FINAL DNA
On July 29, 2007, members of an Ekaterinburg Russian Army Club called "Mountain Shield" searched the Southern part of the Pig's Meadow and found the site of a bonfire that contained 44 pieces of charred bones and teeth belonging to possibly the Tsarevich Alexis and his sister, the Grand Duchess Maria.
SEARCH Foundation's director, Capt. Peter Sarandinaki, was tasked by the Russian Most Senior Investigator of the Romanov case, Colonel Vladimir Soloviev, to coordinate the DNA validation process for newly-discovered remains. To this end, with the assistance of Dr. Anthony Falsetti, the director of the C.A. Pound Human Id Lab., SEARCH brought the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) and the University of Innsbruck Institute of Legal Medicine (ILM) Laboratory onboard to conduct DNA studies on the remains of Romanov family. Dr. Michael Coble, Chief of the AFDIL Research Section, was the lead scientist of the American team and Dr. Walther Parson leading ILM.
Dr. Falsetti came onboard as the 12th. Forensic Anthropologist to examine the newly found remains. In November 2007 Drs. Coble and Falsetti as well as Capt. Sarandinaki traveled to Ekaterinburg to meet the Russian team and to plan the work ahead.
The Russians invited Dr. Evgeny Rogaev, of the University of Massachussets, and of the Moscow Vavilovsky Institute DNA Laboratory, as the third independent DNA Laboratory representing the Russian team.
Colonel Vladimir Soloviev, welcomed the participation of these leading DNA Laboratories who would work independently to identify the newly found remains. It was also requested by Soloviev that all results be sent to Dr. Peter Gill of the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) to independently review and validate the result of three laboratories.
The identity of the remains of Nicholas II; his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra; their children: the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia, Maria and the Tsarevich Alexis and their faithful servants, would be tested with the most advanced and sophisticated DNA techniques the world had to offer.
Dr. Nikolai I. Nevolin, director of the Ekaterinburg Bureau of Forensic Medicine had recently purchased the latest equipment to start a new DNA lab, requested that his scientists be trained by the AFDIL and Innsbruck laboratories in current forensic DNA techniques. The plan was for Nevolin's scientists to bring the DNA samples from the newly found remains to the USA and Austria.
Two Ekaterinburg based scientists, Tamara Tsitovic and Natalya Bondarenko, came to the USA and two others, Elena Trynova and Elena Vylegzhanina, traveled to Innsbruck for training. Tsitovic and Bondarenko were to bring enough bone samples for DNA testing to be divided amongst the three Labs. They first went to Dr. Evgeny Rogaev's Lab in Massachussets for initial training and after three weeks arrived at AFDIL in Rockville, MD.
Unfortunately, the two Russian scientists brought insufficient bone samples for the AFDIL and ILM. In March 2008, Dr. Coble and Capt. Sarandinaki traveled to Ekaterinburg to bring more sample of the 2007 material (2nd. grave), as well as samples from the 1991 materials (1st. grave), a portion of which was delivered to Dr. Parson at Innsbruck by Russian scientists in April of 2008.
In June of 2008, the AFDIL and ILM laboratories completed their work and after a review from Dr. Peter Gill, he found that each lab matched their results 100%. Dr. Gill was quoted as saying in July 2008, “There is overwhelming evidence to support the contention that the remains found in the second grave are those of Alexei and one of the Romanov princesses.”
In March 2009 a joint publication by Drs. Coble, Parson, Gill, and Falsetti was published in the online journal, “PLoS-ONE.”
Russian Dr. Evgeny Rogaev's data matched AFDIL's and ILM's results.
He not only the tested the DNA of the Russian royal family but also of their servants, who were murdered and buried along with the Romanovs.
Dr. Rogaev's results were published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 27 February 2009).
The Ekaterinburg Bureau of Forensic Medicine's new DNA Lab tested a blood sample that belonged to Nicholas II. In 1881, while traveling through Otsu, Japan, then Tsarevich Nicholas, was brutally attacked by a Japanese policeman, who tried to cut off his head with a sword. Nicholas was wounded on the right side of his head above his ear. (Click Link) He held his head with his right hand and his blood stained the shirt. Luckily, the shirt was kept, never washed, and was found stored in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Dr. Rogaev as well as the Ekaterinburg scientists, were able to gather a sample of blood and were able to derive DNA from this 117 year old blood stain.
SEARCH Foundation, Inc. would like to thank Dr. Tamara Tsitovich and the Ekaterinburg Bureau of Forensic Medicine, for allowing us to publish their DNA Report of Nicholas IIs blood stain on our website.
Please click on the links below to see the Ekaterinburg Lab's DNA results:
On December 5, 2008 the Final DNA results were announced to the world. The Romanov Mystery had been solved. ALL FOUR Labs matched 100% in their results. The DNA of the blood samples taken from Nicholas' shirt by Dr. Rogaev and the Ekaterinburg DNA lab matched the DNA results of the bones excavated by Avdonin in 1991 and tested by Coble and Rogaev.
This fine group of scientists have proven to the world that the remains found on the Koptiaki Road in 1991 and 2007, ARE indeed those of Tsar Nicholas II; his wife, Tsarina Alexandra ; their children, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria , Anastasia and the Tsarevich Alexis; their faithful servants, Dr. Evgeny Sergeevich Bodkin; valet, Alexei Egorovich Trupp; maid, Anna Stepanovna Demidova; and cook, Ivan Mikhailovich Kharitonov. There is absolutely no doubt that these are the Romanovs.
A very sad chapter in Russian and World history still remains to be closed. The Russian Orthodox Church has yet to accept these remains as those of the Romanovs. All scientific proof has been submitted to Church Hierarchs. To date no official proclamation has been issued by the Moscow Patriarchate. The Russian Royal family awaits their proper and dignified funeral.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Nikolai Ivanovich Nevolin, Director of the Ekaterinburg Bureau of Forensic Medicine. Dr. Nevolin was at the helm of this historic work. Without his enthusiastic support, vision and open participation the Mystery of the Romanovs would not have been resolved. Memory Eternal !