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

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

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  1. Coffee56

    Coffee56 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if I’ve seen this here. And can never hurt to share again.
     

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  2. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, usually we're dealing with reconstructions and there's always an element of approximation with those. Patterson is within what I would normally allow. But these aren't reconstructions, they're actual photos.
     
  3. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 #RememberingCupcake

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    Big Cypress John Doe Timeline

    NAMUS Link: Unidentified Person Case

    [​IMG]

    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.

    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

    [​IMG]

    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 in 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

    [​IMG]

    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

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

    [​IMG]
    FL - FL - Male, 35-50, BlueGrey Eyes, S&P Beard, Hiking Poles, Boots, Tent, Big Cypress Preserve, Jul2018

    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

    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/

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  4. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 #RememberingCupcake

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    Ok, I think the timeline is done (for now). After most of the dates are map links to the individual locations where he was spotted. This should come in handy in case someone wants to create a map of all locations. I tried to put the sightings in order for the most part-- some of the comments did not give dates (like the hiker who saw him in Duncannon) so I made an educated guess of when that could have been based on the UID hiking South on the AT and the other sightings of him.
     
  5. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if living in Bear Mountain Park means he was homeless at the time?
     
  6. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 #RememberingCupcake

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    That is what it sounded like to me from the poster's comment. I got the impression he quit his job and was living homeless in a Campground for a couple months before deciding to start hiking.

    ETA: but maybe he had some money because the Bear Mountain Park campground costs money to camp: Bear Mountain State Park
     
  7. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Very nice work !!! :)
     
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  8. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 #RememberingCupcake

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    Quoting myself to add that starting in Bear Mountain State park makes sense if he came from NYC (as some hikers reported he did). According to the website there is a bus that goes from NYC to Bear Mountain park. If he really camped at the park for months then surely someone there would remember him. JMO.
     
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  9. LeenC

    LeenC Well-Known Member

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    That is some amazing work! Thank you so much for taking the time to make this timeline. I believe it will be of great help.

    If he had been living in Bear Mountain Park for 2 weeks before deciding to hike further south, do you guys think he was already living in his yellow tent while there? Meaning his original intention could have been to live there until he decided (perhaps wanting to see more of the world or finding that he enjoyed hiking and after hearing other hikers/campers talk about it) to move on. In any case, someone must have interacted with him during his 2 weeks there. I believe this also makes it more likely that he was indeed from New York. This is purely speculation but if he worked in New York City, this would have been the nearest State Park for him to go to. I wonder if any vehicles were left behind close to the park...
    He must have bought some of his gear somewhere in that area as well. It would be interesting to look up the biggest shops selling hikin gear in the neighborhood and asking if they remember helping him. They might still remember him as he probably wasn’t very experienced back then and would have asked someone to point out to him the highest quality gear. Money probably wasn’t a problem and he likely payed all in cash.

    I tend to believe he indeed was an IT worker in New York City because he told several people the same story. If he really was making up a backstory, I feel there would have been slight changes to it every time he told people about it. This doesn’t appear to be the case.

    I think “Ben” might have some meaning to him. It may not be his own first name, but maybe his second name or the name of his father/grandfather/son... “Bilemy” is something he made up. As someone mentioned before it could stand for “My Bile” in reference to him being ill. But not necessarily.

    I believe he does have a sister as well. I don’t think they were overly close, but at least it would mean he does have living family out there.

    On the same not, I don’t think he was married or currently living with someone. He might have ended things right before he left, but if he had left someone behind, there would have been a missing person’s report of him.

    The fact that he only hiked 10 miles per day could mean one of two things (or maybe both) imo. Either he was too weak/ill to walk more than that or he just had oceans of time and was in no rush to get anywhere.

    The more I think about it, the more I do start leaning towards him being terminally ill.

    The gap between March 2018 and July, when he was found, really makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t think he did a lot of hiking in that period. It feels bad that so far it looks like he was all by himself during those months.
     
  10. sassyblue

    sassyblue Well-Known Member

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    Is there anything on Facebook being shared like these pictures?
     
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  11. wary

    wary Well-Known Member

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    It's been a month since they found him. Have they discovered a cause of death and just not announced it?
     
  12. Coffee56

    Coffee56 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome. Thank you. It was becoming very difficult to find things that I thought I’d read before. So much easier now.
     
  13. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 #RememberingCupcake

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    JMO, I think we can assume that they know his cause of death but are not releasing that info. The Sheriff fb page has commented multiple times on their updates that this is not a criminal investigation and there is no sign of foul play.
     
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  14. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Staging his disappearance yes, or maybe he was just drunk and hopeless/reckless. Somehow I don't see it. It seems to me he has a different smile and teeth...and also a different appearance in general. I miss the softness.
     
  15. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    2 Gardener; Thank you for the timeline. That is amazing work!!! You are the best!

    According to the Namus file (and this is my interpretation) they found clothing and other belongings NEAR his body as described up this thread. I assume he was naked, but that is not an issue. But....no mentioning of the backpack and the coat...could he get rid of this, gave it away because he knew he was going to die, or could it be stolen from him? Somewhere (I don't know where anymore) they talked about a book he owned with (I guess some kind of) programming notes. I wonder if they have it and try to decipher it. No mentioning of that either.
     
  16. Coffee56

    Coffee56 Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see the coding. I code every day. Im average at writing and better at reading. I’m not sure knowing the coding language would help but different places use different ones. And I believe coding is individual to each of us. We all code slightly different and in our own way. Almost like a signature. And we’re better in some than others. It might be another recognizable thing.
     
  17. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    For some reason I thought the notes were just his plan for hiking the trail. But, it's odd any maps and/or notes were not mentioned to be found with him. Also, it seems he told someone associated with FL Trail Hikers group he was eventually going to Key West.
     
  18. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 #RememberingCupcake

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    Thanks BOH! I did not find any mention of a book or code he had with him. If you find those comments and can link or direct me on how to get to them, please do so. I can add that info to the timeline. I did see one person comment who thought they had met him and said he had a computer code tattoo on his arm. However, the Sheriff commented that the UID had no tattoos at all and they are sure of this. So the person who thought he had a code on his arm must be confusing him with someone else they met. JMO. I agree with you about the backpack. I think he might have given it away or possibly it was stolen. Several people asked the Sheriff about his backpack and why it was not included on NAMUS and the Sheriff fb page replied that everything found with the UID was on the list.
     
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  19. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know, it's probably crazy thinking (I always express at least one crazy thought per case!), but... "Billemy" might be a bit of a humorous play on words - "bill me".

    'Seems he took very good care of his teeth during months of hiking. I fear I'd become a slob. Actually, I'd just return to civilization (porcelain toilets and all amenities ;))
     
  20. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Google keeps suggesting that I meant to say Bellamy.

    Not but what a few thousand other people aren't trying the same thing :D
     
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