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  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    AL - Bibb Co., WhtMale UP13483, 14-17, MVA, hitchhiking, Mar'61

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/13483
    http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/512110375

    Unidentified hitchhiker -

    Bibb County residents were shocked to hear reports about a 14-17 year old Caucasian male hitchhiker who died in a crash when the vehicle he was being escorted in collided with the bridge rail and plunged into the Cahaba River near River Bend. The young boy drowned.

    On his person besides the clothes he was wearing, was a Timex wrist watch, a carrying bag with several shirts and pants, a brown plastic wallet without any identification, and a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes with a South Carolina tax stamp.

    The boy was 56 120 lbs, with blue eyes and light brown hair. The boy had a tattoo which bared the inscription RY + LOVE. The autopsy revealed that the unknown boy might have walked with a slight limp.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    central Georgia, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beamie View Post
    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/13483
    http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/512110375

    Unidentified hitchhiker -

    Bibb County residents were shocked to hear reports about a 14-17 year old Caucasian male hitchhiker who died in a crash when the vehicle he was being escorted in collided with the bridge rail and plunged into the Cahaba River near River Bend. The young boy drowned.

    On his person besides the clothes he was wearing, was a Timex wrist watch, a carrying bag with several shirts and pants, a brown plastic wallet without any identification, and a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes with a South Carolina tax stamp.

    The boy was 56 120 lbs, with blue eyes and light brown hair. The boy had a tattoo which bared the inscription RY + LOVE. The autopsy revealed that the unknown boy might have walked with a slight limp.
    This is a strange, sad one from pretty far in the past ...so little to go on. I wonder who was the driver/other occupants of the vehicle? Did the driver/others drown as well, or did someone survive? Just wondering how they felt so sure he was a hitchhiker -- did someone survive to say so, and if they did, were they able to remember anything he talked about, where he was picked up, etc. Brings up a lot of questions.

    ETA: Whoops, had neglected to look at the second link before posting. Well, that does answer a few questions...but still, what a mystery.
    Last edited by Backwoods; 08-13-2015 at 02:55 AM. Reason: ETA

  3. #3
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    Feb 2011
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    Long Beach, CA
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    I was able to locate an article that appeared in the Limestone Democrat (a newspaper from Athens, AL) on August22, 1961 about the unidentified hitchhiker that included a postmortem photo and some information that I hadn't seen in the more modern article or his NamUs page -- such as at the time of his death, it was believed that the youth had artificially lightened his hair and it was naturally darker in color.

    Because of the photo, I am going to post a link, rather than upload it here -- http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6vlayx2u.jpg

    I also tried to clean up the photo and make it look a bit less like newsprint (I'm not 100% happy with my editing but it does give a better idea of how the young man looked) -- http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/...ps7v9ceuja.jpg

    Maybe I am being overly suspicious, but I can't help but wonder if the bleached hair was an attempt to disguise himself. I don't think the "surfer" look had become popular by the beginning of 1961, although I could be wrong about this since I wasn't around at the time. The only vaguely remote possibility that I could find is a Robert Rasmussen who is mentioned as going missing at the same time as Gerald Montrio (NamUs MP # 14586, Robert doesn't have a NamUs page unless it is unpublished) from Plymouth, MA in 1957, yet by 1961 Robert might be too old (and I really have no idea about his appearance).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    1,280

    AL - Bibb Co., WhtMale UP13483, 14-17, hitchhiker in MVA, March'61

    I had never heard of this boy until he was posted on the Help ID Me Facebook page today. A rather strange-looking composite was posted. I wasn't able to find him via Websleuths searches; if there is already a thread, please delete.

    He should be an easy ID: he was small for a male, at 5'6, 120 lbs. He might have walked with a slight limp. He had a tattoo that read "RY + LOVE." He smoked Pall Mall cigarettes, bought in South Carolina. He carried bags with shirts and pants inside, and he had a brown plastic wallet with no ID. He told the guy with whom he hitched the ride (who survived the crash, obviously) that he had run away from home after his parent's separation.

    He died in a crash when the car collided with a bridge rail, and sent him into the Cahaba River (near River Bend). He had drowned.

    I hope this gets resolution of some kind. 55 years is a long time to be nameless.

    https://identifyus.org/cases/13483
    Sumter County's Mystery Couple - Facebook page - Websleuths thread
    Arroyo Grande Jane Doe - Facebook page - Websleuths thread
    Buckskin Girl - Facebook page - Websleuths thread

  5. #5
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    Jan 2016
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springrain View Post
    I had never heard of this boy until he was posted on the Help ID Me Facebook page today. A rather strange-looking composite was posted. I wasn't able to find him via Websleuths searches; if there is already a thread, please delete.

    He should be an easy ID: he was small for a male, at 5'6, 120 lbs. He might have walked with a slight limp. He had a tattoo that read "RY + LOVE." He smoked Pall Mall cigarettes, bought in South Carolina. He carried bags with shirts and pants inside, and he had a brown plastic wallet with no ID. He told the guy with whom he hitched the ride (who survived the crash, obviously) that he had run away from home after his parent's separation.

    He died in a crash when the car collided with a bridge rail, and sent him into the Cahaba River (near River Bend). He had drowned.

    I hope this gets resolution of some kind. 55 years is a long time to be nameless.

    https://identifyus.org/cases/13483
    There are some useful identifiers but in the absence of fingerprints or DNA it's going to be difficult to identify him. Based on the age estimate, he was probably born in the mid to late 1940s which I'm guessing means his parents were born sometime in the 1920s or maybe earlier. It's therefore unlikely that either is still alive and even if they are they'd be of an age when dementia could reasonably be expected. That probably means identification will rely on a sibling old enough to remember both a brother who went missing and his tattoo. And of course willing to give a DNA sample.

    I wonder if the driver of the car is still alive and has remembered anything else over the years such as if he mentioned a brother or sister or where he was heading. It's possible that, if he had indeed run away from home, he was heading for an older, married sibling's house.

    As to height, if he was at the lower end of the age estimate it's possible he would still have grown a few inches before reaching his full adult height.

    I tried to find River Bend but could only find the course of the Cahaba River, east of Birmingham.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    318
    There is a facebook page dedicated to him titled Help Find The Family Of The Unidentified Boy Who Died in 1961.
    Who was Walker County Jane Doe?


  7. #7
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    Oct 2015
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    I wonder if they were able to determine how old the tattoo was--whether it was freshly inked or faded more. Since he was so young, I wonder whether he had a family member that was in the tattoo business, and was able to ink him despite him being underage. A friend of mine has a tattoo artist as a sister, who has performed tattoos on underage relatives of hers. I imagine tattoos on kids were probably much rarer in 1961, too.

    I also want to know how full the pack of Pall Malls was. Why would he be carrying cigarettes without a lighter? Did he intend to borrow other people's lighters? Also, why would he carry such an abundance of clothing, but no underwear, toothbrush/toothpaste, extra socks, soap, laundry detergent, a razor, etc.? How much money was in his wallet?
    Could he have bought them for someone else, perhaps a girl he was planning to meet up with? I'm leaning away from that, since he told the driver he had run away from home because of his parent's separation, but apparently he didn't have the chance to delve deeper into that before dying.
    Sumter County's Mystery Couple - Facebook page - Websleuths thread
    Arroyo Grande Jane Doe - Facebook page - Websleuths thread
    Buckskin Girl - Facebook page - Websleuths thread

  8. #8
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    Feb 2016
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    I think the composite picture is a combination of an artist's rendering and possibly the actual pm photo, which might have been taken at an odd angle.
    It kind of reminds me of the boy in the suitcase photos.
    At a glance, I found nothing on NamUs from that time period.
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

  9. #9
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alleykins View Post
    I think the composite picture is a combination of an artist's rendering and possibly the actual pm photo,
    Is this composite on the facebook page mentioned by Jake479? If so I'm unable to access it as the page seems to be restricted. Not on facebook, see ....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springrain View Post
    I wonder if they were able to determine how old the tattoo was--whether it was freshly inked or faded more.
    It would also be useful to know whether the tattoo looked professionally done or an amateur job; the latter might suggest he had been in a young offenders' institution or care at some point.


  11. #11
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    Feb 2016
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    Here's a link to the NCMEC poster with the picture, if that helps: http://www.missingkids.org/poster/NCMU/1250767/1
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

  12. #12
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    Feb 2016
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    I also want to know how full the pack of Pall Malls was. Why would he be carrying cigarettes without a lighter? Did he intend to borrow other people's lighters? Also, why would he carry such an abundance of clothing, but no underwear, toothbrush/toothpaste, extra socks, soap, laundry detergent, a razor, etc.?
    Maybe he used matches and they just weren't found. Cars had cigarette lighters in them, too.
    As for the rest of the items you mentioned, if he were close to the younger end of his age range, personal hygiene might not have been a priority, and he might not have known better if he were just starting out on his own.
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

  13. #13
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alleykins View Post
    Here's a link to the NCMEC poster with the picture, if that helps: http://www.missingkids.org/poster/NCMU/1250767/1
    Thank you. So the tattoo was an amateur or home produced one. I'm guessing that throws up certain possibilities about his background.

    How common were amateur tattoos at this period? How were they perceived by society at large? Here in the UK, well into the 1980s they were almost entirely restricted to bikers, prisoners, sailors and enlisted ranks soldiers, so very much a bottom of the social heap sort of thing.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2014
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    433
    I also searched Namus using the lost and found site and there is absolutely no one that matches this at all. Not in Doe Network either.
    Last edited by creepedout; 05-18-2016 at 09:52 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by creepedout View Post
    I also searched Namus using the lost and found site and there is absolutely no one that matches this at all. Not in Doe Network either.
    I'm not surprised. Boys were more independent and self reliant back then, so his parents probably thought nothing of him striking out on his own. They could have believed he joined the military. Or, it could have been a case where the mum thought he was with the dad, and the dad believed him to be with his mum, when in truth, he was with neither one. If they were divorced, they may not have communicated after they parted ways, and had no idea he was even missing. I can see something like that happening.
    Last edited by Alleykins; 05-19-2016 at 12:28 PM.
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

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