Unidentified: Give us back our names

We, the public, are almost getting used to hearing and reading about the find of a dead body. With the wide range of media coverage we have since the internet bloomed, we’re confronted with a lot more cases you wouldn’t know about in a past further back in time. We read about it and we think they soon find out the identity of the person. That’s not how it always turns out. Sometimes it takes a long time before they can give back a person their name.
Other times, people stay unidentified. Like the boy I use as an example in this article. 


Do you know me?

We found a body
When a body is found, they surely aren’t always recognizable anymore. It depends in what condition they find the unfortunate person and how long that person was there. The found person can be burnt beyond recognition, pulled out of the water, a skeleton or just a few bones. Even when it was ‘a fresh’ quickly found body, that person might not have identification papers in their pockets. Then the search for their identity starts. If visual recognition isn’t possible anymore, then another procedure follows.

The regular procedure
Medical examiners, and other trained professionals in a similar field, will compare fingerprints, dental records and DNA samples. If DNA samples are available, it can take up to 8 weeks for results to come through. If all fails,a three-dimensional facial construction is the last resort. Such a construction’s build up with clay, based on measurements they took of the found bones and/or the skull. Sometimes they make a new mold, a replica of the original. Other times, they put the clay directly on the skeleton head. This task takes time. It isn’t a matter of a few hours. When it’s done, they present the result to the media and post it on the appropriate websites. Despite all the efforts, it doesn’t always bring solution.

Without a name
In certain cases, it’s not happening. Like the case of an underage male. He was found in Mebane, a city mostly in Alamance County and partly in Orange County. It’s situated in North Carolina, America.

It was September 25, 1998, when a worker had to mow the grass in that area and stumbled upon a skeleton. It had lain there on Industrial Drive, off Interstate 40/85, under a billboard, for three to up to five months. The boy was caucasian or Hispanic and between 10 and 12 years old. He wore light brown type jeans shorts, with brand The FoxPolo Club. His socks were so dirty they looked brown, but they once were white. He also wore black-and-white sneakers, size 3, with brand zXs Sports. His underpants looked brown as well, but who knows once were white.

Nothing’s mentioned about a shirt. He either didn’t wear any, when he arrived or was left there, or somehow it got lost from where he was found. They did their best to identify him. Forensic artist Frank Bender did a 3D construction of the face and he or someone else did a sketch creation, but to no avail.

Until this day, nobody knows who the poor little guy is. He might have been reported missing by someone and somehow that report didn’t get connected with this body. It’s not very likely, though. They extendedly checked that out. Possibly, nobody bothered to report him missing. One reason might be that (one of) his parents killed him. If so, they had every reason to keep that a secret and they won’t come forward. Otherwise, they would’ve done so by now.

Whatever the reason, he’s one of the unidentified who’s still waiting to get his name back. Until then, he’s known as number 98-6796 at the Carolina medical examiner’s office, where he’s ‘in the care of’ medical examiner specialist Clyde Gibbs Jr.

Websites about unidentified people
If you do an internet search, you’ll be surprised how many websites exist to point out the number of unidentified people.
A few:
FBI’s unidentified persons
Doe Network’s Unidentified Victim’s Database
Identify Us’ Unidentified Person’s Database
Interpol’s Database of missing persons and unidentified bodies

NOTE: Anyone with information about Boy Doe, found in Mebane in September 1998, please call NC Wanted tip line at 1-866-439-2683. A crime might be committed and no crime should be forgotten or stay unpunished! And, he would like to have his name back, so he can get a proper burial.

Related article
The used images came from the image gallery of wral.com
The total image above this article is a Mirjam Penning creation.

4 comments on “Unidentified: Give us back our names
  1. Gary Cann says:

    Really interesting blog Mirjam

  2. Thank you for stopping by, leaving a comment and your interest, Gary.

  3. I’m so glad you broke free from the career you settled for to do what you really want to do! This is interesting, Mirjam.

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