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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    AZ - Sasabe, Wht/HispMale UP7231, 17-19, bulletproof vest, Dec'00

    Hmm, what do you make of this? What was a white teenager doing out in the middle of nowhere, just north of the Mexican border, wearing a bullet-proof vest?



    He was 17 to 19 years old with brown hair and was 5'5" tall. He was estimated to have died within weeks of being found on December 21, 2000 in a remote desert area northwest of La Rosa Ranch Road and Highway 286 near Sasabe. FPs, dentals, and DNA are available.

    He was wearing two pairs of blue denim pants, a brown leather belt with a white metal buckle, gray sweat pants, a green jacket, a blue bullet proof vest ("Safari Land Body Armor" brand), a light blue pullover sweatshirt, a plaid button-up shirt, and a scarf. No backpack noted, but also found were gray denim pants, black boots, white socks and gray socks, a black Casio watch, two lighters, American and Mexican currency, Chapstick, and a note.

    There is no indication of what the note said. Surely not a suicide note, I'd think, considering the fact that he was wearing a serious piece of life-protecting gear.

  2. #2
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    Strange. Cartel members have been known to wear bullet proof vests, and even some law-abiding Mexican citizens concerned about the violence do. I don't think we can assume he's not latino.. they may have just not specified or not been sure. Given the presence of both types of currency, location, lack of ID.. etc... I'm guessing this kid was likely involved in some kind of clandestine activities or who knows maybe he was a Mexican citizen and fortunate to have family with enough money to buy a vest and were worried about the violence. I read an article recently about Mexican farmers who are arming themselves, wearing vests and becoming more proactive in protecting their property. Don't know how long that's been going on though. It seems doubtful just because of the age and situation but if he were an American police officer, EMT, etc his prints would be in a FBI database... and it looks like they have good prints on him so I think that situation is highly improbable. I can't think of any other reasons a 17-19 year old would have a vest.
    Here's a question... does anyone know if dentists in the the USA still use silver fillings routinely? I only ask because I've had a bunch of fillings, starting in the late 90s til recently and none of mine are silver.. they're all that tooth-colored resin or whatnot. I just saw that he had two silver fillings and I was wondering whether or not that could hint at where his dental care was done.

  3. #3
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    My first thought was Minuteman or wannabe Minuteman. But this was over a decade ago; were there Minutemen yet in 2000?

    Then I thought drug smuggling. US citizens can move across the border more fluidly than Mexican nationals, so having some Mexican currency on hand might not mean much if someone's crossing back and forth quite a bit.

    This guy was just awfully young to be messing around out there and, whatever he was doing, he obviously felt it was risky.

  4. #4
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    He's not white. For whatever reason, some LEA lump hispanics as being white even when the person is mestizo or Indian. This Doe was probablya smuggler from the other side of the border and was providing some kind of scouting when he got killed.

  5. #5
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    I did a little research on the militia-esque groups near the border... the earliest one I could find was founded in 2000. Most of the other, more well-known groups came 3-7 years later. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if there was some informal activity prior to their formal foundation though.

    I don't think it's likely he was a part of one these groups. They have strict rules that "patrols" have to be done in groups. I know they're almost always armed, and they often carry things like binoculars, thermal imaging cameras, etc and there's no indication of anything like that on him. Of course he could have been robbed of such items but then it seems odd they would not also take the vest (worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars and often difficult to purchase due to regulations) and the cash.

    These groups seem fairly small and relatively close-knit as well. I think even if one of their members decided to break rules and go solo without telling anyone the disappearance would eventually be noticed as they missed group events, and likely reported. They're understandably very concerned about retaliation and their safety.

    The local law enforcement and CBP are in frequent contact with members of these groups and would likely recognize the decedent if he were a member.

    The age thing is sad, he is so young but you look at what age group is vulnerable to gangs in our country and it's teenagers. The cartels have had boys and girls as young as 11-13 working as hitmen among other roles. It's heart-breaking.

    I'm going to try to look through the Mexican missing person database but it's a longshot. Even if he were reported missing in Mexico the database is very incomplete and focuses on women and children but I'm crossing my fingers and will report back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDMike View Post
    He's not white. For whatever reason, some LEA lump hispanics as being white even when the person is mestizo or Indian. This Doe was probablya smuggler from the other side of the border and was providing some kind of scouting when he got killed.
    You're probably right. I've been meaning to look up info on possible skeletal differences between races to learn how MEs make a determination when it isn't immediately obvious, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I think I've read somewhere that skeletal differences are really more geographical than racial, though.

  7. #7
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    I'm looking at several different missing men from Mexico right now but this one is really standing out to me - maybe one of the facial comparison rockstars can take a look. I'm trying to learn how to look at these. To me the jawline looks spot on. The shape of the eyes, brows and temples strike me as well. I don't know what to call them or whether or not they're a valuable landmark - but it looks like they both have those noticeable creases from the nares to the outside corner of the lips. The lips themselves seem way off. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Rodolfo Gordillo Diaz
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/3724dmmx.html


    He went missing 1999 - no mention of month or day. The age is right, height is exact match. He's missing from Tijuana which is about 500 miles away and closer to California than AZ... but out of all the Mexican cases I've looked at that match demographics I think his may actually be the closest.

    I've been unable to dig up any more information on him or his disappearance yet, but I'm about to check some Spanish-language sites.


    Quote Originally Posted by OkieGranny View Post
    You're probably right. I've been meaning to look up info on possible skeletal differences between races to learn how MEs make a determination when it isn't immediately obvious, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I think I've read somewhere that skeletal differences are really more geographical than racial, though.
    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/10925
    I stumbled on this case yesterday - they found a femur only and were able to determine with a good amount of certainity that it was a 16-50 year old black man 5' 7" to 6' 4". The interesting part is they explain a little bit of how they reached these conclusions in the "skeletal findings" section. It seems to determine race they mostly look at nuances in the shape. I would have thought it would be almost impossible to get that detailed of information without a skull or pelvis. It's amazing what these medical examiners can do.
    Last edited by lucidtx; 06-17-2013 at 10:21 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Oops - just realized Diaz is 1-2 years older than the range. I was thinking of another case's age range. Not a huge discrepancy but I don't want to put up incorrect info.

  9. #9
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    Oh, hey, just noticed that I forgot to post a link to this UID's profile. Sorry about that.

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/7231

    Mr. Diaz looks pretty close, might be worth submitting. The forehead height is really the only thing that gives me pause, but I'm no expert either.

  10. #10
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    Yeah I agree about the forehead. I'll see about submitting it tomorrow. Can't find any more information on Diaz. I was able to find this article about the UID that has a few more details.
    http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue2/200...ad-man-sought/
    Summary of additional info:
    - Homicide victim. He was shot.
    - Investigators believe he was Mexican.
    - A pack of Marlboro cigarettes with Spanish text was also discovered with him.
    - Medium build.
    - Jeans he was wearing were Guess brand.
    - Article says he was wearing brown hiking boots. Doe and NamUs say black boots.
    - Was found near La Osa Ranch (not La Rosa as listed in NamUs and Doe) about 5 mi west of Sasabe and 3 mi north of the border.




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