1987 Cold Case Gets Facial Reconstruction, Anthropology Exams and DNA, Isotope Testing

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 1987 Cold Case Gets Facial Reconstruction, Anthropology Exams and DNA, Isotope Testing

A body was discovered on Nov. 15, 1987 at the Twin Buttes Reservoir in the southwest part of Tom Green County in an advanced state of decomposition. An initial autopsy, forensic anthropology and dental examinations failed to identify the man or create any additional leads. Case information was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons database in 2013 but has yet to yield an identify.

Although an early facial reconstruction drawing was completed in 1994, investigators wanted to explore the possibility that scientific advances would enhance the original drawing. In February 2018, the Sheriff's Office requested that the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia perform a facial reconstruction of the John Doe in hopes it would assist in identifying the man. The new facial reconstruction (shown here) was based on forensic anthropology and dental examinations.

Also in February 2018, John Doe's remains were submitted to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for a secondary forensic anthropology examination, forensic odontology examination and a DNA extraction. This revealed that John Doe was a male about 17 to 27 years of age and Caucasian or Hispanic in ancestry. The DNA analysis results were uploaded into CODIS, the FBI's national DNA database. Additionally, the forensic anthropologist was able to tell that John Doe suffered from spina bifida in the sacral area of the spine. It is possible that the Doe did not know of this defect.

In May 2019, John Doe's DNA was submitted to the DNA Doe Project with hopes of locating any ancestors related to Doe. While close ancestors were not located, it was determined that Doe is of Columbian and European decent. In December 2019 Doe's remains were sent to University of South Florida for stable isotope analysis to determine where the Doe had been residing before his death. These tests are still ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding the identify of this John Doe and this case is asked to contact either Lt. Terry Lowe or Sgt. Billy Fiveash at the Tom Green Sheriff's Office (325) 655-8111.

Republished courtesy of Tom Green County Sheriff's Office.  Photo: Facial reconstruction of John Doe. Credit: Tom Green County.

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