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FL COLUMBIA COUNTY JOHN DOE aka "FORREST": WM, 35-50, found near I-10 rest area - 24 Nov 1978

Discussion in 'Unidentified 1900 to 1979' started by Jason Futch, May 18, 2019.

  1. Jason Futch

    Jason Futch TCCF Host, King of the Highway

    Columbia County John Doe
    Found November 24th, 1978
    Columbia County, FL; near I-10

    On November 24th, 1978, a hunter searching for a deer that he had hit with his truck pulled into the I-10 West rest area, which straddles the Suwannee County line. His attempt to find the deer led him to human skeletal remains that were found in a wooded area between freshly planted pine trees. At the time, the rest area and Interstate 10 were fairly new.

    Columbia County Deputy Johnnie Walker reported to the scene and oversaw the initial investigation, in which the bones were sent to the FDLE crime lab in Tallahassee to determine who this individual was. Additionally, some of the John Doe's bones were sent to an anthropological study group at Florida State University.

    The study determined this John Doe's profile. According to investigators, this John Doe:

    • Had a number of "healed" injuries: a healed broken nose, which may have bent to the left and a healed broken left foot that may have made him walk with a limp. He also had severe arthritis in the left hip, possibly from trauma.
    • He had an overbite, with amalgam fillings on tooth 3, 4, 12, 13, 14, 18 and 31. He had a porcelain filling on tooth 8. He also had class 2-3 periodontal disease in all teeth present, and had atrophy of the lower jaw.
    • He is believed to be between 35-50 years of age
    • 5'9 to 5'10
    • He was believed to have been at the location for over a year based on the condition of the bones, which were bleached by the sun. Though there was no determination of death, it is suspected foul play was involved.

    The case was investigated for some time, however like most unidentified persons cases, they tend to be boxed up and forgotten for a long time. This case was no exception. That is until 1996, when an investigator with the CCSO, while cleaning an evidence room, discovered a box that contained the John Doe's bones. Immediately, he went to work trying to find out who he was and what happened and established a full profile on the Doe.
    The remains were re-examined by anthropologists with FSU and FDLE, and the skull was sent to the Seminole County Sheriffs Office, in the care of Anne Coy; who performed a reconstruction of the skull using clay. When she finished the reconstruction, she named him "Forrest". With all her reconstructions, she gives them names. A video appears to exist of the reconstruction as well; however, according to the investigator, the video was lost overtime.
    An FDLE bulletin was also established in 1999, added to the unsolved homicides section of their website, to help identify the John Doe, but to no avail. Since then, the CCSO has limited their push on attempting to identify this John Doe.

    in 2019, Anthony Redgrave of Redgrave Research (and also a DDP Volunteer) gave this John Doe a fresh new look, by re-doing the reconstruction to give him a more detailed, realistic look. The CCSO approved of the reconstruction and has plans to showcase the investigation once more.

    If you have any information on this case, please contact Katina Dicks with the Columbia County Sheriffs Office at 386-758-1143. You can remain anonymous!

    CCSO Case Number: 78111-831
    Medical Examiner Case Number: 99-0685
    FDLE Case Number: 20050101537
    NCIC: U076712242
    NamUs: 6246

    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2019
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  2. Jason Futch

    Jason Futch TCCF Host, King of the Highway

  3. Jason Futch

    Jason Futch TCCF Host, King of the Highway


    GarAndMo49, ima.grandma and Kimster like this.
  4. Jason Futch

    Jason Futch TCCF Host, King of the Highway

    STATEMENT FROM THE CCSO (from their Facebook page):

    1978 “John Doe” Interstate 10
    Columbia County, FL
    NAMUS #UP6246
    Case # 78111-831

    In November of 1978, skeletal remains were discovered behind the rest area on Interstate 10 in Columbia County.

    The remains had been located in a wooded area west of the rest area, between several planted pine trees. The remains had been covered with approximately 3 inches of old pine needles and dirt. At the time of their discovery, the remains did not present any evidences as to the cause of death, nor were there any clues as to the identification of the person. Only a portion of a pant leg was located near the remains and not all of the bones were located. It is believed that the individual died within a year of the remains being found.

    The remains had been examined by Dr. Williams Maples, an expert in Forensic Anthropology. Dr. Maples and his team were able to determine that the unidentified remains were that of a white male, approximately 5’9” tall, with an age of approximately 35-50 years old. The team determined that this person likely had arthritis and was right handed. The individual also had a former fracture in the pelvic area, herniated disc, healed fracture of the left nasal bone and a probable left foot deformity. Based on an examination of the teeth that were present, it was determined the individual had periodontal disease, but had considerable dental care. The individual also had an atrophy of the mandible or molar area which would give the appearance of a small chin. The cause of death was never determined; however there also was no evidence of foul play.

    The FBI lab extracted mitochondrial DNA from the skeletal remains and had a facial reconstruction completed. Additional facial renderings have been completed over the years with the most recent rendering that was completed by artist Anthony Redgrave, a volunteer with the DNA Doe Project and a co-founder of the Trans Doe Task Force.
    If anyone has information as to the identification of this individual please contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (386) 752-7015.
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