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ID CLARK COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 40, found in Buffalo Cave, ID - 26 Aug 1979 *Tentatively Identified*

Discussion in 'Unidentified 1900 to 1979' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    On August 26, 1979 an unidentified, headless male torso was discovered by a family hunting for arrowheads in Buffalo Cave in the state’s Civil Defense Caves in Clark County east of Dubois, Idaho. Wrapped in burlap and wearing dark colored pants, white shirt with blue pin stripes and maroon sweater, the torso was buried in a shallow, 18-inch-deep grave.

    Twelve years later, on March 30, 1991, a mummified hand was found partially buried on the cave floor by an 11-year-old girl exploring in the same cave system. When officials conducted more excavating in that spot, an arm and two legs were found wrapped in burlap. Despite extensive searching by volunteer staff and students from Idaho State University over the years, no other remains, including the head, have been discovered.

    (Also known as: “Buffalo Cave John Doe” and “Defense Cave John Doe”.)

    http://dnadoeproject.org/case/clark-county-john-doe/


    The Mystery of the Torso in Buffalo Cave
    May 2015

    Last November, shortly after he’d been hired as a sheriff’s deputy in rural Clark County, Idaho, John Clements indulged his curiosity by reviewing the county’s unsolved homicides. It was a short list. Clark County, a former rail hub in a desolate swath of eastern Idaho, has fewer than 870 residents, and years often elapse between murders. But one killing stood out: In August 1979, a family hunting arrowheads dug up a headless male torso deep within a rock-strewn cave. The torso, wrapped in burlap and clad in a pink shirt and maroon sweater, was found in a grave 18 inches deep. Folks thought it might belong to a hard-drinking shepherd from Montana they’d known as John. But with no head and thus no way of identifying the fellow, the investigation stalled.

    Twelve years later, an 11-year-old girl exploring the same cave stumbled upon a partially buried hand; more excavation yielded two arms and two legs, all wrapped in burlap. Volunteers combed the cave’s myriad nooks and crannies, but found nothing of note beyond the skeleton of an ostrich that had once escaped from a nearby farm. The case once again went cold.

    Given how much forensic science has evolved since the early 1990s, Clements figured he had a shot at finding something new. “With everything that’s been happening with DNA and all that, I just felt that this was the case that was most likely to produce some kind of resolution,” he says. Though resolution remains elusive, new technologies have given Clements a clearer portrait of who the victim was—a crucial first step toward tracking down whoever caused him to meet such a grisly end.
    __________________________

    With the aid of a software program called ADBOU, which automates the process of converting skeletal measurements into age estimates, Stull determined that the man was most likely in his mid- to late-30s. She also concluded, with 95 percent accuracy, that he was between 5’6” and 6’2”. She even managed to come up with his probable hair color (brown) by examining follicular remnants on the limbs’ leathery skin. Such details may seem minor, but Clements characterizes them as “extremely helpful.”
    __________________________

    Finding the victim’s head would make Clements’ job much easier, of course, which is why he told Stull he was keen to search Buffalo Cave again. To maximize his odds of success, Stull recruited Nicholas Holmer, an osteologist at the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory. Holmer’s specialty is using the tripod-mounted FARO Focus3D laser scanner, which retails for around $43,000, to create detailed computer models of excavation sites. The technology typically is used for surveying projects, but could come in handy while combing the vast, dark depths of a cave dotted by rocky alcoves and mounds of debris.

    “What the scanner does is it lets us see areas that we potentially missed during our initial observation,” Holmer says. “It also helps us record change of the cave over time, so if we go back later, we can compare a new scan with the previous one and see if anything’s changed.” Holmer and his team made an initial scan of Buffalo Cave in late February; the 3-D model hasn’t yet led to new discoveries, but excavations will continue as potential hiding spots are identified.

    The investigators realize their quest may be quixotic—the killer may have buried the head elsewhere, or animals may have spirited it away long ago. But they hope that if word of their dogged search spreads via social media, an old acquaintance of the killer may decide that he or she is tired of keeping an awful secret. “When word gets out to the public, that’s what gets the phones ringing,” says Janet Franson, a former Lakeland, Florida, homicide detective who is handling the Buffalo Cave case for NamUs. “And then maybe you hear from someone who isn’t friends anymore with someone who maybe had something to do with this.” In the world of police work, a pair of loose lips is still a bit more valuable than even the fanciest 3-D scanner.

    https://www.wired.com/2015/05/mystery-torso-buffalo-cave/
     
    Kimster likes this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Demographics
    Sex: Male
    Race / Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
    Estimated Age Group: Adult - Pre 50
    Estimated Age Range (Years): 40
    Estimated Year of Death: 1975-1979
    Estimated PMI: 5 Years
    Height: 4' 11"(59 inches) , Estimated
    Weight: Cannot Estimate

    Circumstances
    Type: Unidentified Deceased
    Date Body Found: August 26, 1979
    Location Found
    Street Address: Buffalo Cave Dubois, Idaho
    County: Clark County
    Circumstances of Recovery: On August 26,1979, hikers found the torso of a white male in the Buffalo Cave, Clark County, Idaho. Then on March 30, 1991, different hikers to the same cave found arm and both legs. No head was ever found.
    Details of Recovery
    Inventory of Remains: Head not recovered
    Condition of Remains: Not recognizable - Traumatic injuries

    Clothing and Accessories
    Clothing: Dark colored pants, white shirt with blue pin stripes, maroon sweater - photos of clothing in IMAGES - On the Body

    https://www.namus.gov/UnidentifiedPersons/Case#/13310
     
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    5 Idaho Cold Cases You Might Be Able To Help Solve

    The last few months have been filled with stories of missing people in Idaho. Too many times, though, we never find out what happened to the missing people and the cases go cold. Cold cases in Idaho are not a new issue and some missing people have remained missing for decades. A new YouTube video focuses on five of these cold cases and hopes to help solve the mysteries around them.
    • The Civil Defense Cave John Doe is a case where body parts were found but authorities haven't been able to identify the person. Cave explorers found the male torso but the arms and legs weren't found for another 12 years and the head has yet to be found.
    https://newsradio1310.com/5-idaho-cold-cases-you-might-be-able-to-help-solve/


     
  4. The Coffeenator

    The Coffeenator Fluent in crapanese

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed and Kimster like this.
  5. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Bravo! If I've said it once or a thousand times, I haven't said it enough, this group is stupendous!
     
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed likes this.
  6. Redrover

    Redrover Well-Known Member

    Another great job!
     
    Kimster likes this.

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