AL MARSHALL COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 19-34, found in creek off Eagle Point Road near Arab, AL - 15 April 1997

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NamUs: The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

A man looking for a place to fish in a creek in the Ruth community discovered the decedent's remains around 11 a.m. and called authorities. The remains were found off Eagle Point Road, about three miles west of Arab and about half a mile from the Morgan County line. The body was partly in the creek and was missing the head, hands, and feet. A rope was tied to the his legs.

Investigators believe he may be the victim of a homicide and murdered elsewhere before being dumped at the location where he was found.




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Scorpio

Well-known member

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Date of Discovery: April 15, 1997
Location of Discovery: Marshall County, Alabama
Estimated Date of Death: 1997
State of Remains: Not recognizable - Mummified
Cause of Death: Unknown

Physical Description
Estimated Age: 19 - 34 years old
Race: White
Gender: Male
Height: 5'9" (Estimated)
Weight: 120 pounds (Estimated)
Hair Color: Unknown. Body hair was sandy or reddish
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown

Identifiers
Dentals: Not available
Fingerprints: Not available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: Short-sleeved "Faded Glory" blue, green, and gray, vertically striped, pullover shirt; "Levi Strauss" 501 jeans (32W-30L)
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Discovery
A man looking for a place to fish in a creek in the Ruth community discovered the decedent's remains around 11 a.m. and called authorities. The remains were found off Eagle Point Road, about three miles west of Arab and about half a mile from the Morgan County line. The body was partly in the creek and was missing the head, hands, and feet. A rope was tied to the his legs.

Investigators believe he may be the victim of a homicide and murdered elsewhere before being dumped at the location where he was found.

Investigating Agency(s)
Agency Name: Marshall County Sheriff's Office
Agency Contact Person: Keith Wilson
Agency Phone Number: 334-832-4980
Agency Case Number: 970400317

Agency Name: Alabama Department Forensic Sciences
Agency Contact Person: James A. Perry
Agency Phone Number: 256-539-1401
Agency Case Number: 97HV02257

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: UP #888
Former Hot Case Number: 1120
 

Scorpio

Well-known member

Marshall County Sheriff's Office looking for help in decades-old cold case
Posted: Sep 13, 2019 5:38 PM
Posted By: Sydney Martin

The Marshall County Sheriff's Office is working to solve a decades-old murder. A man's mutilated body was found in April 1997 on the bank of a creek in Union Grove.

"I've been in law enforcement for 33 years, and 19 years of that has been an investigator here with the sheriff's office, and this is the only case I know like this," said Keith Wilson, the Marshall County Sheriff's Office Investigator on the case.

Investigator Wilson said he's been working on the case since 2000.

"There had been obvious attempts to keep us from identifying the body. The head and the hands had been removed and a surgical type wound to the victim's chest. That looked like someone was trying to hide an injury," he said.

Investigators know the man was between 20 and 30 years old, weighed about 150 pounds and was five feet, nine inches tall. The investigator said they believe he also had strawberry blonde hair. They don't think he was ever reported missing.

"The main focus right now is to look for a person that may be possibly missing that has never been reported. If anybody knows anything like that, if they would call us, that would be great," he said.

In a gruesome twist, the man's heart and spleen were surgically removed. Investigators are not exactly sure why but said it could have been to hide a stab or gunshot wound, and they think the murder didn't happen where the body was found.

"The body was only there a matter of days, or less. The decomposition occurred somewhere else. The body had been stored somewhere else before it was disposed of in that creek," Wilson said.

Wilson said the case has been looked at by many investigators, and they want closure for themselves and for the family.

"Every investigator since 1997 that has come through the sheriff's office has in some way touched this case, interviewed somebody, or followed up on leads. I have done extensive work on it. I would love to solve this case before I retire," he said.

The sheriff's office has a drawing of a man seen near Cataco Creek around the time the body was found who might be involved in dumping the man. He was driving a 1990s model maroon Chevrolet truck with tinted windows and a Georgia tag. It's unknown where he was from.

Investigator Keith Wilson said the sheriff's office has tested the DNA, done analysis on the evidence and hasn't had any hits. The latest DNA test happened as recently as six months ago on the 22-year-old case.

“It’s a matter of identifying that person, and I think that’s been the hold up of the case all along," he said.

Wilson shared they're looking into private companies that collect DNA to see if any of them could provide any sort of DNA match.
"That's been recent people solving crimes through private DNA companies," he said.

He said it's something that still needs lots of research. "We're researching it. It's a matter of how we are getting one of the private companies to do that," he said.
Another option the sheriff's office is looking at is to hire a private company that could analyze the DNA and try to make a sketch of the man who was found dead.

It's been something they haven't been able to do because he was found with no head, and the cost for something like that could be near $10,000. The sheriff's office said the're still in the early stages of determining if they could use this technology and still have to secure funding.

The Marshall County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call 256-582-2034. A reward may be available for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime.
 
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Scorpio

Well-known member
By Donna Thornton / Times Staff Writer
Posted Sep 14, 2019 at 7:50 PM

Marshall County seeks help identifying 1997 murder victim

April 15, 1997, a 17-year-old looking for a fishing spot on Cataco Creek in the Union Grove area of Marshall County spotted a man’s body — missing a head, hands and feet. More than two decades later, investigators still don’t know who he was, who killed him or how he came to be on that creek bank.

Chief Investigator Keith Wilson on Friday invited the media to hear more about the cold case, in hopes that the public can help.

“We hope to allow a family, somewhere, some closure to their missing loved one,” Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims said. Wilson inherited the case when he joined the sheriff’s office in 2000, and he’s worked on it ever since, along with his current caseload.

This is what investigators know:

• The man, between the ages of 20 and 30, was not killed on that creek bank. Wilson said he’d been there three days or less.

• His head, hands and feet were removed with some type of saw.

• There were organs missing — his heart and spleen — and medical examiners believed more surgical-type skill was used to remove them.


• The body was in a state of decomposition, but that didn’t occur on the creek bank. “He decomposed somewhere else,” Wilson said, before he was brought to dump site.

• His legs were bound together near the ankles with rope and wire ties.

• He is believed to have been about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds. Based on his body hair, he was a “strawberry blond,” with sandy or reddish hair.

• He was dressed in a short-sleeved Faded Glory pullover shirt, with blue, green and gray vertical stripes, and Levi Strauss 501 jeans, size 32 waist, 30 length.

Here’s what investigators believe, according to Wilson:

• The man’s head and extremities were removed to hinder identification — successfully, thus far.

• Wilson believes the organs were removed from the body because there was a wound there, and those organs bore evidence of it.

“There were indications that he was redressed,” the investigator said.

Asked if organ harvesting for transplant was a possibility, Wilson couldn’t rule it out. However, he believes destruction of potential evidence was more likely.

Wilson said the area where the body was found is fairly remote. “I don’t think someone just wandering through the area would have found that spot,” he said.

Whoever dumped the body went down a dirt road off Pleasant Valley Road north of Arab to reach the creek. During rainy periods, the creek sometimes floods the road, but it was shallow during the April days surrounding the discovery of the body.

“I believe this is a missing person who was never reported missing,” Wilson said. He said he’s combed missing person databases, sent both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA through DNA databases, all with no hits.

The rope found on the man’s legs and his clothes was checked, then sent back to labs to be checked for “touch DNA” that might have been transferred through handling of the body. Nothing has brought any leads.

Wilson said when the case was hot, there were a lot of leads coming in — enough to fill the file box he inherited, and two large binders he’s assembled.

Three days before the body was found, witnesses described seeing an early 1990s model maroon Chevrolet truck with tinted windows in the area. A white man was driving the truck, and was seen leaving the area. Wilson said a composite was created and publicized, but didn’t lead to a suspect.

“He was acting nervous,” the investigator said.

A witness was hypnotized in an effort to uncover more information.

Wilson said he’s never stopped working the case, and when Sims came into office, he suggested publicizing it in an effort to identify the victim. Without identifying him, Wilson said, it’s hard to know where to turn in the investigation.

“Maybe this is someone who went missing from the area around that time,” he said, and people just thought he left. He said he hopes someone will think back, and think of someone fitting the description who’s been long lost.

There’s always the possibility that hearing of the case again could prick someone’s guilty conscience, but Wilson doesn’t expect that from whoever killed this man.

“They haven’t got a conscience,” he said.

Wilson said early in the investigation, when there were reports of missing persons, efforts were made to get DNA from a hair brush or toothbrush to compare. Now he believes it will take DNA from a family member to identify the body.

He said the sheriff’s office has reached out to Ancestry.com, asking about the possibility of searching its DNA banks for potential matches.

There have been criminal cases in the last year where DNA submitted by individuals to companies that test for family history and traits has helped police solve cold cases — most notably the Golden State Killer case in California.

Wilson said Ancestry.com replied that it doesn’t do “third-party” DNA testing, but he plans to continue researching that avenue.

“I’ve got to get with someone who has used it in a case, and find out how they did it,” he said.

Wilson said there is a company that can take DNA and create a model of what someone looked like from the information they extract. It’s an intriguing possibility, and perhaps the only way to get an idea of the features, given the missing head. It’s also expensive — between $5,000 and $10,000.

A reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man’s killer was offered in 1999 by then-Gov. Don Sigelman. A reward may be available now, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Over the years, Wilson and other investigators have heard stories about this unidentified man — some elaborate tales about where he came from, why he was brought here to be dumped and what became of his head, hands and feet.

But even when investigators were given names of suspects and went to question them, the alleged culprits just said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And there was no evidence to confront them with, Wilson said, just the story.

He said he hopes now, more than 22 years after the body was found, someone will come forward to help investigators write an ending to this story.

Anyone with information about the unidentified body is asked to contact sheriff’s office at 256-582-2034.
 
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Scorpio

Well-known member

Alabama cold case investigators try to identify body found without head, hands and heart
By Robert Gearty | Fox News
Alabama investigators are seeking new leads in a bizarre cold case murder that has remained unsolved for 22 years.

The male victim’s feet were bound by rope but missing were the victim’s head, hands, heart and spleen, according to reports. Recovered near the body were a handful of air fresheners.

Last week, investigators with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office released a sketch of a potential suspect and appealed for information that can identify the victim.
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Sketch shows potential suspect in the cold case murder of a man in Marshall County, Ala., 22 years ago. (Marshall County Sheriff's Office)

The hands and head had been removed, obviously to keep us from identifying the victim,” chief investigator Keith Wilson told WHNT-TV Saturday.

WAAF-TV reported Saturday that the victim’s heart and spleen had been surgically removed but investigators weren’t sure why.

It could have been to hide a stab or gunshot wound, according to the station. Wilson told the two stations that the victim appears to be a 5-foot-9 man in his 20s who weighed 155 pounds and had strawberry blonde hair.

A teen found the body in the Cotaco Creek near Arab in April 1997. Wilson believes it was dumped there by the killer.

Wilson told WAAF he has done extensive work on the case trying to crack it.

“I would love to solve this case before I retire,” he said.
 

Scorpio

Well-known member
1583054764892.png

Sketch of possible suspect that was seen in the area three days before the body was discovered. He was driving a 1990s model maroon Chevrolet truck with tinted windows and a Georgia tag.

The suspect is described as white male about 6'1 tall, 210 lbs., black hair and had a fumanchu type mustache.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
For more than 24 years, a man found dead along a remote Marshall County creek remained a mystery — nameless and faceless, with investigators unable to determine how he ended up on the bank of Cataco Creek, or what led to his death.

Much of that mystery remains, but on Wednesday, investigators unveiled an image — created using DNA from the remains found April 15, 1997 — of what the man may have looked like.

The sheriff's office contracted with Parabon NanoLabs, based in Virginia, to take the DNA and create a "phenotype" report predicting what the victim may have looked like.

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Curiousseeker

New member
For more than 24 years, a man found dead along a remote Marshall County creek remained a mystery — nameless and faceless, with investigators unable to determine how he ended up on the bank of Cataco Creek, or what led to his death.

Much of that mystery remains, but on Wednesday, investigators unveiled an image — created using DNA from the remains found April 15, 1997 — of what the man may have looked like.

The sheriff's office contracted with Parabon NanoLabs, based in Virginia, to take the DNA and create a "phenotype" report predicting what the victim may have looked like.

View attachment 11273

The story I have been told is a girl I went to high school with. Her step dad Jimmy xxx killed the guy friend some guy named bull dog dumped the body. Another friend took the head to a local rock quarry. The hands and feet somewhere else by a third party. That's what I was told. Happened due to a drug deal gone bad.
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
The story I have been told is a girl I went to high school with. Her step dad Jimmy xxx killed the guy friend some guy named bull dog dumped the body. Another friend took the head to a local rock quarry. The hands and feet somewhere else by a third party. That's what I was told. Happened due to a drug deal gone bad.
According to the story, was this man coming in from out of town to deal the drugs?
 

Curiousseeker

New member
I'm not sure. The killer was supposed to be a long distance truck driver. So it would make sense for the victim to be from out of town. What brought all this up was when the picture of the victim was released. I was talking to a friend I've known most of my life. He was the one who told me the story since he had been told this right after it happened from said person who overheard the killer and his friends talking about all this. What happened and where the other body parts went. I told my friend the victim looked familiar but I couldn't place him. That's when he told me the story.
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
I'm not sure. The killer was supposed to be a long distance truck driver. So it would make sense for the victim to be from out of town. What brought all this up was when the picture of the victim was released. I was talking to a friend I've known most of my life. He was the one who told me the story since he had been told this right after it happened from said person who overheard the killer and his friends talking about all this. What happened and where the other body parts went. I told my friend the victim looked familiar but I couldn't place him. That's when he told me the story.
I sure do hope this story made it over the the detective who is investigating this case.
 

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