CA CA - San Diego, UnkMale UP#63959, 20-40, burned in dumpster, Sept'81

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by Fuuro, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    Case Numbers
    NCMEC Number--
    ME/C Case Number81-02083
    Demographics
    SexMale
    Race / EthnicityWhite / Caucasian, Black / African American, Other, Uncertain
    Possible First Name--
    Possible Middle Name--
    Possible Last Name--
    Possible Nickname--
    Estimated Age GroupAdult - Pre 20
    Estimated Age Range (Years)15-20
    Estimated Year of Death1981
    Estimated PMI--
    Height5' 8"(68 inches) , Measured
    Weight106 lbs, Measured
    Circumstances
    TypeUnidentified Deceased
    Date Body FoundSeptember 28, 1981
    NamUs Case CreatedJanuary 2, 2020
    ME/C QA Reviewed--
    Location Found Map
    LocationSan Diego, California 92131
    CountySan Diego County
    GPS Coordinates (Not Mapped)--
    Found On Tribal LandUnknown
    Circumstances of RecoveryThe decedent was found in a large trash receptacle located adjacent to the loading dock at the rear of the Big Bear Market, 9905 Mira Mesa Blvd.
    Details of Recovery


    Inventory of Remains--
    Condition of RemainsNot recognizable - Charred/burned
    Physical Description
    Hair ColorBrown
    Head Hair DescriptionCurly and brown/red with blonde at the tips.
    Body Hair Description--
    Facial Hair Description--
    Left Eye ColorBrown
    Right Eye ColorBrown
    Eye Description--
    Distinctive Physical Features
    No Information Entered


    Clothing and Accessories
    No Information Entered

    --------------------------------------------------------



    I discovered this case fairly recently, and I find it really disturbing. He was very young, and he appears to have met a really brutal demise. I've tried to find news coverage of this case, but I haven't had any luck, which is frustrating.

    Looking at the NCMEC reconstructions, he has a very unique look about him, mostly due to his hair. He would have definitely stood out, in my opinion. I'm not sure how accurate the reconstructions are, though, considering that he was burned beyond recognition.

    I'm going to do a brief NamUS missing persons' search to see if anything interesting comes up in relation to this case. I'll post what I find here.
     


  2. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    Yikes, I completely forgot to link the NamUS profile in the original post. Here is the link:
    The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

    Here is also a link to the UID's NCMEC profile: Have you seen this child? JOHN DOE 1981

    I did a quick NamUS search of males who would have been between 11 and 26 when the UID was discovered, and so far, nothing has really stood out to me. During this preliminary search, I primarily focused on non-white males missing from CA and the neighboring states, but I don't think we can really rule any particular demographic out, considering that the remains were (apparently) in very bad condition. There's also the very likely scenario that this person was never reported missing.

    Something else I've noticed - 5'8" and barely over 100 lbs is very skinny for a young adult or someone in their late teens. I wouldn't be surprised if this male turns out to be younger than his age estimate. The reconstructions (however accurate they may or may not be) make him look like he's a bit on the younger side as well, especially the one where he's looking to the side. The fact that the body was burned beyond recognition is making me take the reconstructions and every distinguishing characteristic listed on the NamUS profile with a grain of salt, though.

    Since there is literally no information available out there about this case outside of the aforementioned NamUS and NCMEC that I can find, I'm not sure about the exact circumstances of the UID's death, but it's obviously extremely suspicious. This seems like a personal crime. The UID's age, the idea that he might have been very underweight, and the burning of his body all remind me of Canada's Melonie Biddersingh case.
     
  3. Goecke

    Goecke Well-Known Member

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    Wow... This is a really sad case. I hope someone recognizes the sketch.
    Do they know if his hair was dyed? If the recon is accurate I'd say he had a medium complexion, which is very rare for people with reddish hair. It's due to the type of melanin redheads have in their hair (and usually skin), which is completely different from the kind of melanin that results in brown pigment. It's not impossible, but it is very rare and would make him stand out a lot if it was his natural color.

    If it does turn out to be dyed, how common was that among young men in the early '80s?
     
  4. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    I assumed that the hair color listed on NamUS is what was presumed to be his natural hair color. I don't think dyed hair was anywhere near as common in men during the 80s as it is today, but I wasn't around then, so I honestly can't say for sure.

    I agree that his hair color is rather unusual alongside his complexion and his possible racial background. The UID would stand out in life for sure. There are black people with red hair, but the hair texture in the reconstruction is making me think that he has significant racial admixture, so I'm not sure what might be going on here. This would make a great Parabon case, but I doubt it will ever be picked up, considering very few people know about this.

    I've heard of hair taking on a distinct auburn discoloration in response to being burned. I wonder if anyone on here can corroborate that. Like I've said before, the poor condition of the remains makes me hesitant to take a lot of the distinguishing characteristics listed on the NamUS profile as being totally accurate. Usually, when an UID is said to have been badly burned to the point of being unrecognizable, their hair color and eye color are listed as unknown because thermal changes can make it difficult to ascertain those features. I'm thinking that
    A) the data listed on NamUS are very rough estimates or
    B) the UID was in better physical shape than we think.
    What also complicates things is that the postmortem photos for this case are not public (probably because they are extremely graphic and disturbing), which makes it hard for me to verify the information on NamUS and assess the accuracy of the NCMEC reconstructions.

    Sorry for such a long post.

     
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  5. PayrollNerd

    PayrollNerd Well-Known Member

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    That side view really makes me think he has Native American, or possibly some Hispanic or Cuban heritage, mixed with the African heritage.

    The address is a small strip mall, currently surrounded by townhomes. In the early 1980s the property records may have clues to what type buildings were there. At that time, there was a recession. If I had to guess, I’d say it may have been somewhat of a depressed area.

    I believe the blonde tips of hair were a trend possibly indicative of the gay community at the time. This boy may have been a runaway who landed in the sex trade as a means of survival. Runaways were not taken seriously for quite some time. His family could have reached out for help only to be essentially ignored.

    I noted the profile and renderings are very recent, as in a few months old. That makes me think there were inquiries recently. Did a family member submit DNA looking for their son, brother, cousin, etc?
     
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  6. PayrollNerd

    PayrollNerd Well-Known Member

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    I don’t see any notes on DNA or dentals.

    There had to be enough remains to provide eye, hair and skin shade. If not, they may have already done DNA but they have not updated the profile.

    If the jaw was intact, the wisdom teeth could be a clue to his age. If they had not descended, he’s likely under 19 or thereabouts.
     
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  7. victoriarobinson642

    victoriarobinson642 Well-Known Member

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  8. Goecke

    Goecke Well-Known Member

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    The dark eyebrows stood out to me as well, but then again I'm a natural ginger and have eyebrows that are much darker and more brownish than my hair. So he could have had something similar, or it's dyed (which is probably more likely). I assume at least the blonde tips are dyed if nothing else.

    Also, I may be mistaken but I believe California is extremely tight about releasing PMs? It's late here and my brain's a bit foggy so I could be mistaken, but I want to say that CA hardly ever releases them publicly.
     
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  9. YaYa_521

    YaYa_521 Every Body's Name Matters

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  10. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    @PayrollNerd: I do think that there's a good chance that this could have been a runaway, and it can't be denied that runaways, males and females alike, do often turn to sex work as a method of survival. I believe that anything is possible in this case.
    Also, dental records would definitely help in determining how old this male may have been at the time of death, but I don't know if they are even still available for this UID. I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the documents associated with this case had been lost in the 40 years that have since past.

    @victoriarobinson642: About his hair - like I've said before, I'm not sure whether or not the hair color that was recorded on NamUS refers to his natural hair color or just the outward appearance of the hair at the time of his discovery. I will say that the shade of the bleached hair in the photo does look similar to the hair shade in the reconstructions.

    @Goecke: I'm not sure about California's policy when it comes to releasing postmortem photos. I know that Florida is extremely strict with decedents found in their state, but I don't know of any other states that impose similar restrictions.
    In any case, I'm not sure that the postmortem photos for this particular UID would ever be released due to the state of the remains at the time of discovery, seeing as PM photos of people who have been disfigured (or decomposed) beyond recognition are usually not made available for public viewing. It sounds like the pictures of this UID would be very gory.
     
  11. Goecke

    Goecke Well-Known Member

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    I was probably thinking about Florida. Now that I think about it there's a few California UIDs I can think of that have had their postmortems released, but if his face was burned beyond recognition and there weren't any other identifying features on his bodies (like tattoos) there wouldn't be a good reason to release it.

    Also, I've been thinking and I'm wondering if this young man may have been Melanesian or Aboriginal Australian? Meet the Melanasians: Black People with Naturally Blonde Hair — Blk Girl Culture His features look similar to me, and some of the people in the link I posted definitely have reddish hair.
     
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  12. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    Wow, I think that the reconstruction of our UID does look a lot like the people featured in that article. That's certainly a very interesting possibility. The idea of him possibly being from out of the country could also explain why it looks as if nobody ever reported him missing.

    I just noticed that no clothing information is available for this case. I wonder if that's because
    a) clothing information simply has not been entered into NamUS
    b) the clothes that the UID was wearing were destroyed when his body was burned
    c) the UID was not actually wearing any clothes when he was set on fire

    Also, I wish that we knew the cause of death. I think that this is almost certainly a murder, but I also think that there's a very slim probability that the UID could have died under different circumstances (overdose, maybe) and that someone tried to conceal his death.

    Regardless, this is definitely an extremely disturbing case. Equally disturbing is the fact that it appears to have gotten basically no media attention from the very beginning. The UID didn't even have a forensic reconstruction until a few months ago (like PayrollNerd said).

    It's crazy that it took 40 years for people to finally realize that this happened, but better late than never, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  13. PayrollNerd

    PayrollNerd Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if, with the advent of genealogy these days, did someone finally do their tree/DNA, thus realized he was missing, started asking questions, etc.? For this young man to have no one be his voice is so sad. He was someone's son and he needs to be back with his family.
     
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  14. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    Today marks the thirty-ninth anniversary of this UID's discovery.

    San Diego John Doe has become one of my pet cases. It's a shame that with how little attention this case has gotten from the very beginning, it seems as if the person or people responsible for this heinous act have probably lived the past four decades thinking themselves to be in the clear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  15. PayrollNerd

    PayrollNerd Well-Known Member

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    I think this poor kid was hungry. I'm 5' 8" too. I was probably in 4th grade the last time I weighed 106 lbs.

    Height 5' 8" (68 inches), Measured
    Weight 106 lbs, Measured
     
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  16. bombardier

    bombardier Well-Known Member

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    im taking the measured weight with a grain of salt since a body (or any object) gets lighter when its burned and charred - I remember an episode of forensic files where the victim's burned remains weighed about 50lbs :eek:
    just on a whim due to @goeke's suggestion, i checked the aussie missing persons website; it's a pretty barebones list and I didn't see any men/boys fitting this description.
     
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  17. bombardier

    bombardier Well-Known Member

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    Would really like to know more about Willie Reginald Clark, a 5'10" African-American man with a light complexion and reddish-brown hair. Circumstances are kind of confusing; it sounds like he lived in Alaska but for some reason, traveled to Maryland where he was last seen. This would have been 3 years before this man was found in CA, and thus he would have been ~24 y/o.
    Wish more info was available because from what I can see (no other pics out there) he's a damn good facial match.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  18. Goecke

    Goecke Well-Known Member

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    I can't find many sources regarding Melanesians in the US, but it looks like California has a (comparatively) large amount of Pacific Islanders living there as a whole. Unsure if things were similar in the 1980s though.

    New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Malaku Islands and the Solomon Islands all have a sizable (or majority) Melanesian population. It seems like the trait for blonde/light coloured hair is most common in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and in aboriginal Australians. If he is Melanesian, he could be from one of those places, or he could have been born in the US and just have Melanesian ancestry.
     
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  19. Fuuro

    Fuuro spicy user

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    If this UID actually was about 5'8" and 106 lbs, his BMI would be 16.1. An adult with a BMI of 16.5 or lower is considered "severely underweight", based on BMI standards.

    For children and very young adults (19 and below), weight "category" is determined by percentile. BMIs that fall between the 5th and 85th percentile for a given age (down to months) are considered "normal"; people who fall below or above that range are considered "underweight" or "overweight", respectively.
    In older teens, the categories more-or-less line up with adult categories (i.e., a BMI of 16.1 is below the first percentile for males aged 17-19, meaning a male in that age group with that BMI would also be considered "underweight", as more than 99% of males of the same age would have higher BMIs than he did).
    In younger children, things get a bit more complicated, however. After plugging in numbers into the CDC's child and teen BMI calculator, I see that a BMI of 16.1 is at the 6th percentile, which is just above the cutoff for the absolute low end of "normal", for a male aged exactly 14 years old.

    So, taking this all into consideration and assuming that the information that we have is accurate and assuming that he was at that weight for an actual reason, I think that one of two things could be going on here:

    • He could have been an older teenager who had problems with obtaining food (perhaps due to it being withheld from him due to abuse / neglect or due to financial issues or homelessness).
    • He may be significantly younger than what is believed (around 11 to 14 years old).
    Edited to add:
    Chronic abuse would not surprise me here. This case reminds me a lot of the Suesan Knorr and Melonie Biddersingh cases, although there isn't much evidence (besides the low body weight) suggesting that the UID had been victimized in the days leading up to his demise.

    I think that there could be a bit of a resemblance between the UID and Willie Clark, but as stated before, the circumstances seem like a bit of a stretch.
    Also, someone on NCMEC's Facebook page suggested James Natalia Foster as a possible match. NCMEC said that they would look into the tip.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  20. bombardier

    bombardier Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I am still of the opinion that this weight reflects the post-burned state of the remains. The facial recon doesn't suggest someone emaciated/extremely thin. If it had said "106lbs (estimated)", then I'd be more inclined to think that they are trying to portray the victim as he was in life. I'm not speaking from a place of certainty though; I don't know how severely this man was burnt.
    I went on NamUs to see if giving the burnt remain weight was normal or not... usually if the body is too burnt, they just put "weight: cannot estimate" or give a vague estimate. Some people do have listed weights that seem 'off' though, i.e. this 6'0" guy measured at 133 lbs, 5'7" guy measured at 107lbs, and this 5'5" woman weighing 90lbs. but on the other hand, other people who have been burnt have measured weights that seem very normal for their height! so i can't come to any conclusion :p
    I'm glad that NCMEC is responding to tips, and that James Foster was suggested. I'm not on FB; would someone like to suggest Willie Clark? Or should I do it via NamUs contact? I agree that his circumstances don't back up the ID but his circumstances are so vague in the first place, they don't sway me either way.
     
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