FL FL - Big Cypress National Preserve, Male hiker, "Denim" and "Mostly Harmless", 23 July 2018 #2

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by Gardener1850, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Remembering Cupcake

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    Investigators want help identifying man found dead at preserve campsite

    Authorities trying to identify body found in Big Cypress Preserve - Naples Herald

    Thread #1
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2019


  2. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Remembering Cupcake

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    Not many changes below, but here is an update of the Timeline:

    Big Cypress John Doe Timeline

    NAMUS Link: Unidentified Person Case

    April 2017 – He told people he started hiking in New York in April 2017. Possibly was wearing jeans when he started hiking which is where he said his trail name “Denim” came from.

    June 2017 – He told people he met that he went for a 2 week hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in New York in June 2017.

    June 2017 – Hiker (RS) met him on the AT in New York. He claimed he had been working for a big company and recently quit his job. He said he had been living in Bear Mountain Park, NY for 2 weeks before deciding to hike South on the AT. Google Maps

    June or July 2017 – Hiker (CD) met him in New York at the visitor center in Unionville, NY (Date is my estimate based on map) Google Maps

    June or July 2017 Hiker (WF8) posting on the Mountain Crossings Walasi-yi page claims to have met him in a church basement in Duncannon, PA. (Date is my estimate based on map). Google Maps

    28 July 2017 – Hiker (IHTPT) claims to have met him on the AT at Raven Rock shelter in Maryland. AT shelters: RavenRock Raven Rock Shelter

    Early Aug 2017 –Hiker (SMJ) claims to have seen him hiking somewhere near Shenandoah, VA with an older woman with grey dreads. Google Maps

    Sept 2017 Hiker (Obsidian) took a photo of him reading the logbook in the Mountain Home Hostel in Front Royal, Virginia. Another photo at the same table was posted on the hostel fb page Sept 22.
    Mountain Home

    27 Sept 2017 – Hiker (MJO) met up with Denim while hiking the AT in Bland County, VA near the Helvey’s Mill Shelter. He told her he was headed for Georgia. AT shelters: HelveysM Helveys Mill Shelter

    Oct 2017 – A hiker (HRH) posting on the Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi page photo claims to have hiked with him for a week in Oct.

    7th - 8th Oct 2017 – A hiker (KEV) met him in Virginia and knew him as Denim. KEV said his pack was 53 1/2 pounds in Damascus, VA -- she took a photo of it on the scales because it was so heavy she almost toppled over trying it on. KEV took a selfie and several other photos of him in Damascus. They had been stuck in Woodchuck’s Hostel in Damascus for 2 days due to a hurricane hitting the trail (Most likely was rain from Hurricane Nate: Hurricane Nate - Wikipedia ). Google Maps

    7 Oct 2017 – He went out to eat at Damascus Pizza Co Bar and Grill with KEV and several other hikers.
    Google Maps

    Nov 2017 – Hiker (DB) met him at Trey Mountain shelter on the AT. He told DB he did IT work in NYC and was going to Florida. AT shelters: TrayMtn Tray Mountain Shelter

    2 Dec 2017 – Photo of “Denim” holding up maps posted to the “Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi” Facebook page—Mountain Crossings is a store located near Blood Mountain in Georgia. He purchased maps to hike the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama and told the owner he was heading for Key West, Florida. Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi

    Dec 2017 - GoPro Video of him was taken by another hiker at the top of Springer Mountain: Collier County Sheriff's Office

    Dec 2017 – Hiker (DBIH) claims he camped with him at Springer Mountain Shelter on the AT. They talked about Dr. Who, liking Sci-fi, working in IT and their fathers. DBIH claims he mentioned an ex-girlfriend and a sister but no names. AT shelters: Springer Springer Mountain Shelter

    4 Dec 2017 – Hiker (MM) met him on Springer Mountain and posted about it to the Mountain Crossings facebook post on Dec 5th. MM took a photo of him with his poles in front of the bronze plaque on the summit at the end of the Appalachian Trail.

    Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi

    (info about the plaque: https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/springer-mountain-2-mile-hike/ )

    29 Dec 2017 – Hikers HW and JC took a photo of him standing in front of a Nisan Frontier Truck on Salem Church Road—the first road crossing of the Pinhoti trail just South of the AL/GA State Line. Google Maps

    Photo info

    Jan 2018 – Hiker (K) took a photo of him while holding a “thru hike” sticker in Crestview, Florida, on Hwy 90, West of town.

    Jan 2018 – A hiker (PE) met him on the Pinhoti in January; he told PE he was only doing 10 miles a day.

    24-25 Feb 2018 – A camper (BV) met him at Sand Pond Campground is in Pine Log State Forest, in Ebro, FL. He left from there headed for the FL trail. He told BV he had been staying with his sister in Sarasota or Ft. Myers, FL and started in that area. He also talked to BV about some health problems and needed/wanted to do this trip while he still could.

    Google Maps

    March 2018- A hiker (AK) met him on the Florida Trail near the Aucilla River section; he was heading South bound and said he planned on reaching the southern terminus sometime in July. He told AK that he had started on the FT in Blackwater. Florida Trail, Aucilla River | Florida Trail Hikes

    March 2018 - A hiker (AL) met him in the Ocala National Forest. Google Maps

    March 2018- A hiker (BW) saw him just 1 hour south of the 88 store. He was heading south bound on the FT, healthy and in good spirits. Google Maps

    23 July 2018 The Unidentified man was found deceased in his tent in Big Cypress National Preserve at a remote campsite called Noble's Camp, approximately 5 miles north of Interstate 75.

    Google Maps

    Physical Description and Other Info

    35 to 50 years old

    5-foot-8

    a very lean 83 pounds

    salt and pepper hair and beard

    blue/gray eyes

    his teeth were in excellent condition

    He had no tattoos

    Possible indistinct fine linear scar across abdomen. Very faint.

    He died only a few days before he was found

    There were no obvious injuries and the death does not appear suspicious from a criminal perspective

    Clothing and Accessories:

    Beige Shirt

    Neon green (w/gray accents) Shorts

    Gray Russell "Performance" Underwear size M

    Columbia baseball hat, very dirty possibly gray and white

    Yellow two man tent – Manufacturer: Brooks-Range Mountaineering, Model: Foray

    Yellow sleeping bag

    Two hiking poles, black and copper color. Brand "Outdoor Products"

    One yellow and gray Isobutane 110 G fuel cartridge

    Bluegreen Nalgene water bottle

    black Salomon hiking boots

    Aliases/Hiking Names Used: “Denim”,“Mostly Harmless” & “Ben Bilemy”

    He used the alias "Ben Bilemy" to register at several hostels along his trek from New York to Florida on the AT and FT. He stayed at Hostels in VA, GA and FL.

    May have ties to New York City, New York and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    May have worked in the tech industry.

    Information from other Hikers who met him:

    He claimed to have worked in the “tech world” for a decade prior to starting hiking.

    Hiker (MJO) says he claimed he was only hiking about 10 miles a day.

    Hiker (KEV) says he told her he was heavy body weight-wise when he first started hiking and had lost a lot of weight since then. Other hikers heard similar stories that he had lost weight. KEV also says she believes he paid for everything in cash. KEV says he told her he did not keep any social media accounts due to hackers and did not have a cell phone.

    He was hiking the ECT, Eastern Continental Divide & and he decided to do it with no phone & no GPS

    Known to be a very experienced hiker with very good quality equipment

    He was working for food during the hike

    He was said to be an extremely friendly but quiet guy

    Source Post for above

    Listed on the ECT Thru-Hike's website as part of the ECT class of 2018 as “Mostly Harmless”

    Class of 2018 – Florida Trail Hikers Alliance

    Source Links

    Collier County Sheriff Facebook posts:

    Collier County Sheriff's Office

    Collier County Sheriff's Office

    Collier County Sheriff's Office

    GoPro Video taken on Top of Springer Mountain: Collier County Sheriff's Office

    Groups Where his Photo was posted:

    Pinhoti Trail Alliance:
    Pinhoti Trail Alliance Post

    Mountain Crossings:
    Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi

    Florida Trail Association:
    Florida Trail Association

    Florida Trail Hikers Alliance:
    Florida Trail Hikers Alliance

    FTthruHIKE:
    FTthruHike

    The Trek:

    Authorities Need Help Identifying a Hiker Who May Have Hiked the AT - The Trek

    Mountain Home Hostel:

    Mountain Home

    Unidentified and Unclaimed facebook

    Unidentified and Unclaimed Facebook

    Florida National Scenic Trail - Big Cypress National Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)

    Media Links:

    Investigators want help identifying man found dead at preserve campsite

    http://naplesherald.com/2018/08/03/...-identify-body-found-in-big-cypress-preserve/

    Collier Sheriff's Office asks for help to identify man found dead in Big Cypress Preserve

    Unidentified, decomposed body found in Florida woods; Some think he's a Baton Rouge native

    Dead hiker may have ties to New York state

    Who is 'Ben Bilemy?' Florida police try to uncover identity of mystery hiker found dead near Everglades

    CCSO shares alias of hiker who died in Big Cypress National Preserve

    ID of man found dead in Big Cypress Preserve still unclear after hikers send photos, tips

    DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN? Collier Co. deputies need your help ID'ing man's body found

    Hiker found dead in Florida could be from New York

    Hiker found dead went by 'Denim' and 'Mostly Harmless' on the trail, but investigators don't know his real name

    https://www.winknews.com/2018/08/23/collier-deputies-release-video-of-hiker-prior-to-death/
     
  3. amytothekate

    amytothekate Well-Known Member

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    I'm excited to share the annotated map/timeline. Tricia asked that I include in my post: this map has been reviewed and approved prior to my sharing it. This wouldn't be possible without the timeline @Gardener1850 put together. Everything included comes from official LE postings and official business postings. Of course, this does not mean everything is 100% accurate!

    This has been hand-stitched together in Photoshop from approximately 20 screenshots of maps with MH sightings/interactions marked. After that, I overlaid the trails, then associated photos and annotations were placed on a top layer. Due to the shape of our little blue planet, as well as the dynamic nature of trails, please keep in mind that some marked locations and trails may be a bit skewed.

    A final note, some photos and sightings were intentionally excluded due to the inability to verify the sighting location, and/or the photo was not found via an official source. I hope this is helpful. I welcome feedback and have set the map up in a way that we can edit/add to it without too much trouble.

     
  4. Harmony 2

    Harmony 2 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    When posting please be mindful of our terms of service and of the following posting parameters:

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  5. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I keep forgetting about Reddit...
     
  6. turanna25

    turanna25 Well-Known Member

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    I apologize too. I didn't realize something I posted inadvertently was linked to a personal Facebook page.. I thought it was linked to one of the AT Facebook groups. Sorry! :(:oops:
     
  7. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Remembering Cupcake

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  8. amytothekate

    amytothekate Well-Known Member

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    Unidentified Person / NamUs #: UP51453 Male, White / Caucasian
    Date Found: July 23, 2018
    Location Found: Ochopee, Florida

    4 Missing Person Exclusions
    1. MP12308; David Whitehurst; 04/17/1992; Hillsborough, FL
    2. MP41863; Valentino Malloggi; 06/10/2017; Broward, FL
    3. MP52000; Paul Glova; 08/15/2018; Broward, FL
    4. MP30727; Glen Oldfield II; 09/17/2015; Skamania, WA
    --
    [Edited to add links.]
     
    EllieGato, ShHolmz, Laughing and 6 others like this.
  9. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    The public list on Namus is

    Paul Glova
    Valentino Malloggi
    Glen Oldfield II
    David Whitehurst

    Oldfield is from Washington state; the others are Floridians.
     
  10. Classito

    Classito Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I was guilty as well! Apologies--Will be more careful
     
  11. Coffee56

    Coffee56 Well-Known Member

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    Guilty here too.
     
  12. booghawk

    booghawk Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember if I did any of those things, but if I did I apologize!
     
  13. Hatfield

    Hatfield Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again to everyone who has been involved in trying to solve this person's identity.

    I continue to think of him often and this case seems so solvable and yet so difficult as well.

    One thought I wanted to add today is that I have been thinking of the new Geneology methods that LE is now using to solve those very old cases like the California Golden State Serial Killer.

    Its seems like it would not cost much to submit a DNA sample and pay a fee to a geneology search place to at least get back a basic report of some family tree information. Which could provide some solid tips on his identity.

    I know its not likely we could get his DNA sample from him but if LE had a DNA sample then I am sure it would not be too costly to submit it to one of the companies that provides family tree information.

    I have never used one of those companies and I am not sure of the rules involved since his DNA would not be our own but just think if we had a sample in a vial. Someone could easily submit the sample as their own and the company would not be the wiser. They may even allow that sort of thing as I dont know the rules.

    If the cost is not too much and LE could do it for us then even I would be willing to pay the fee so long as not too awful much.
     
  14. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    The Sheriff's office released podcast on MH addresses DNA genealogy, they even mention the GSK specifically. It was very interesting what their expert said. I wish there was a transcript on that podcast.

    Basically DNA testing is pending but they still have considerable work to do. I believe they are using GedMatch, which will work with LE, whereas the other ones will not.

    Perhaps someone else can clarify the statements from the podcast.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  15. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Remembering Cupcake

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    Here's a link to the 3 part podcasts: CCSO Media Relations

    I need to listen again but to me it sounded like they have only sent the DNA to the Texas lab where most Doe DNA is sent to be uploaded into NAMUS. Those tests will only tell them if DNA matches a missing person or someone in a criminal database. It won't help with genealogical research. It sounded like they were saying groups like DNA Doe Project and Parabon are not options for Collier County cases but I don't understand why. It's a couple thousand for the test that DDP requires but raising that money would be easy for a case like this. JMO.

    ETA: DNA is discussed in Episode 2 of the podcast.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  16. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Florida has very strict privacy/search laws. That might limit what LE can do with searches using DNA or other biometrics.
     
  17. booghawk

    booghawk Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the amount of funding that comes in for DNA Doe Project cases is quite remarkable sometimes. I think our kind faced friend would get a lot of donations towards his possible identification. I wonder why it wouldn't be an option for specifically one county?
     
  18. booghawk

    booghawk Well-Known Member

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    Didn't see your post before I replied!
     
  19. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Remembering Cupcake

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    That is what they seemed to be saying in the podcast, but DNA Doe Project has cases from Florida it is currently working on. They are working on Alachua County John Doe: Alachua Co John Doe - DNA Doe Project Cases And also Julie Doe found near Orlando: Transgender Julie Doe - DNA Doe Project Cases
    Perhaps it has to be a cold case of a certain number of years before they would allow it? It really doesn't make sense that they would not be allowed to solve recent cases with DNA too, especially since there is no crime suspected here. They could give someone back to their family sooner rather than later and they wouldn't have to pay for cold storage and cremation. MOO.
     
  20. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    My understanding, which might be wrong, is that they can get a judge to approve the search, but only after less intrusive methods have been exhausted. So if the Namus/Codis search comes up empty, that might open up other options.
     

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