MS SHARKEY COUNTY JOHN DOE: BM, 5-7, found in a drainage canal in east Sharkey County, MS - 8 Jan 2014


DNA testing reveals more information about boy whose remains were found in 2014​

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) along with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is releasing new information for a young boy that was found deceased in 2014.

In January 2014, contractors working along a mid-central Mississippi creek in Sharkey County discovered a skull in a drainage canal. No other remains were found, aside from the small child’s skull. Initial analysis suggested that the boy was between five to seven years old and may have been deceased for several years. No missing child reports matched the description of the remains and law enforcement has continued to pursue the investigation by utilizing new technology over the years.

Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office has teamed with Othram, a DNA testing company and NCMEC to determine if advanced DNA testing might help reveal more about the young boy’s identity.

In January 2021, preliminary DNA test results from Othram now indicate that the young boy was African American and that he likely has relatives from Sharkey County, Mississippi, or the surrounding areas. NCMEC additionally coordinated carbon dating through the University of Arizona on the skeletal remains which suggests the young boy was born between 2000-2004 and likely died between 2007-2012.

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Staff member

On January 8, 2014 the skull of a young child was found in Sharkey County, Mississippi. The skull was found within a drainage canal located in a crop field on the east side of the county. No other remains were found. The child was 5 to 7 years old at the time of his death. Advanced DNA tests have confirmed the child is an African American male and he likely has relatives from the same general area in Mississippi in which he was found. Additional forensic testing has revealed that the young boy was born between 2000-2004 and likely died between 2007-2012. The image depicted is a facial reconstruction completed by a NCMEC Forensic Artist and depicts what the child may have looked like in life.


A cranium of a small child was discovered at the Sharkey Issaquena County line. The cranium was found by Ricky Hayes, an employee of Duett Hack Hole Services. Deputy Carolyn Tillis was dispatched to the scene along with the Sharkey County Coroner Angelia Eason to retrieve the skull. The cranium was sent to the Mississippi State Medical Examiners Office and was then sent to Dr. Nicholas Herrmann of Mississippi State University for anthropological analysis. A follow-up survey will be conducted to search for additional remains; no date set.

*Images uploaded to NamUs in 2019
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An employee of Duett Hack Hole Services found the cranium of a small child at the Sharkey-Issaquena County line. No other remains were recovered.

The sex of the decedent was initially unknown until DNA was analyzed.

Dentals: Available.
Fingerprints: Not available.
DNA: Available.



Special specialist
This is so sad and sickening only finding this poor child's skull and knowing he had been dead for several years. They believe he is from the area but no missing persons reports matching this boy. To me it seems obvious he was killed and dumped by a parent or caregiver. It always baffles me when no one seems to notice the absence of a child.

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