FL FL - Big Cypress National Preserve, Male hiker, "Denim" and "Mostly Harmless", 23 July 2018 #3

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

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  1. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Timeline Guru (Still 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
    Thread #2
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2020
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  2. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Timeline Guru (Still 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/
     
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  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.

     
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  4. Harmony 2

    Harmony 2 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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  5. JudgeJoe

    JudgeJoe Well-Known Member

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    Dang it. I was hoping the search for Denim wouldn’t make it to Thread #2! It shouldn’t be so hard to find his ID. :(
     
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  6. rinnai

    rinnai Active Member

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    Christopher "Topher" Dale Bernards has been missing since 2014.
    His height is listed to be between 5' 9" and 5' 10", brown hair, blue eyes. He is known to grow his facial hair.
    Namus - The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
    I believe authorities suspect foul play in his case, however when I look at him, I can definitely see some resemblance. Especially in some of his youtube videos. For example in this one: .
    This is Christopher's facebook page - Topher Bernards.

    Can you guys see some similarities as well?

    (FYI, there is a websleuths thread dedicated to him.)
     
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  7. Ursamajr

    Ursamajr Well-Known Member

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    unfortunately, that guy doesn't look anything like MH to me
     
  8. PropaneYeeter

    PropaneYeeter Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.
     
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  9. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    IMO, I don’t think MH was a missing person.
     
  10. mp_1989

    mp_1989 Active Member

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    Bump
     
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  11. Narkj

    Narkj Well-Known Member

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    I tried to search through past threads and couldn't find this: does anyone know what size boots MH was wearing? Was that ever released?
     
  12. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    I don't see it mentioned here but it's possible his shoe size was confirmed elsewhere.

    Clothing and Accessories
    Item
    Description
    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

    The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
     
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  13. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Former Member

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    Is there still any mention that this individual is from Brooklyn? Or have investigators dismissed that idea. The photo on the patch.com article appears to be similar to the police composite.
    Mysterious Hiker Found Dead On Florida Trail May Be From Brooklyn

    Has there been any updates regarding DNA testing or an autopsy being performed?

    Have investigators posted a photo of all items found with the deceased instead of just offering a list of the items? A visual would be nice.

    Thanks to anyone that can update me on this case.
     
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  14. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    Hi @JohnnyChicago

    I believe this is the only photo of his belongings they released.

    No further releases about DNA testing results. An autopsy was performed.

    https://www.namus.gov/api/CaseSets/NamUs/UnidentifiedPersons/Cases/51453/Images/47544/Original

    The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

    Edited to add: this released poster kind of gives you an idea of what his belongings may have looked like.

    https://www.namus.gov/api/CaseSets/NamUs/UnidentifiedPersons/Cases/51453/Images/59072/Original
     
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  15. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    Ok, scroll to the beginning of this thread. There are additional pics posted of his belongings from where he was discovered.
     
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  16. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Former Member

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    Thanks. Greatly appreciated!
     
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  17. waterfalllady

    waterfalllady Well-Known Member

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    Carried over from the last thread, and I forgot who I am quoting.
    "I tried searching, but couldn't find an answer. Did CCSO provide an explanation as to why they haven't shared the contents of his notebook that contained code? Or did they, and I missed it? I'm one of five millennials not on Facebook (;)), so it's difficult to keep up with posts on that platform. The only information provided about the contents were some specific words: "spawn", "creep", and "algae pond." He told others he was working on an app/game for hikers, and these terms would make sense in the context of game development."
    ____________________________________________________________________

    "spawn" "creep" and "algae pond" can all be related to outdoor activities as well.

    Spawn is an offspring or used as slang to mean something that resembles something else like a clone. "Creep" is a geological term for when mud starts sliding down a hill (grossly oversimplified) and "algae ponds" are algae pond. What does everyone else think?
     
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  18. Narkj

    Narkj Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know which fellow hiker took this photo? Believe it was in Florida. I need high-res
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Ursamajr

    Ursamajr Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little surprised the Brooklyn Patch didn't also include a photo oh MH clean shaven.
     
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  20. Narkj

    Narkj Well-Known Member

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    I put in a request for a lot of information from Collier County
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
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