NC NC - Cherokee County, Taller Male, pre-50, found in woods with glasses, digital camera with photos, Feb'22

Curious_in_NC

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This is an interesting case. The digital pictures seem like they should help with an ID. But I'm guessing the location of the scenes in them was not recognized by the investigators nor was near where the remains were found. No NamUs entry yet.

This article shows three of the pics:
"Preliminary analysis indicates that the victim is a taller male that could be up to 50 years of age," the sheriff said in a statement.

Police found some of his personal effects near the 6200 block of Brasstown Road in Murphy. Items included eyeglasses, a watch, and a digital camera that contained several photos. They are hoping the public can use those details to help identify the man.
There are several Bic lighters, a red tactical flashlight, a set of silverware and a steel watch with gold-colored trim, among other items.

Photos from the camera show a wooded campsite with clothes hung out to dry, a photo of a landscape panting on canvas, and old barn and the front door of a camper.

This article includes an additional picture with what might be a Thanksgiving dinner with family/friends:
 

Laughing

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Do we already have a thread for these remains? The picture with the camper looks familiar.

That family snapshot should help, if people share on Facebook?

jmho ymmv lrr
 

Curious_in_NC

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Do we already have a thread for these remains? The picture with the camper looks familiar.

That family snapshot should help, if people share on Facebook?

jmho ymmv lrr
I didn't see another thread.

Here's the Cherokee County Sheriff FB link. There's quite a few suggestions there from locals for potential matches.

I do think the digital camera is a kind of unusual detail. Apparently it survivied in good enough condition to recover some photos. It might have been an SLR. If so, it might also have a serial#. If not, most phones take good enough photos now to make cheaper digital cameras obsolete, so maybe he had no phone. But the photo of the barn seems fairly high resolution so it's hard to say. If you blow it up enough you can see a hatchback parked just to the left and behind the barn. The Sheriff's FB posts also include a less cropped version of this photo with the front of another car in the foreground to the left.

The address places this location very near the John C. Campbell Folk School. I wonder if the digital picture of the landscape painting was maybe somehow connected to their art courses?
ETA The address where he was found was near the 6200 block of Brasstown Road in Murphy, NC.
 
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GatorFL

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annpats

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Even if cameras are ruined, dropped in the sea, soaked in rain and won't work, the memory cards will always be fine. They don't seem to be affected.
I've heard of divers finding dropped cameras from boat rides several years later and sharing the photos to find the owners.
 

Curious_in_NC

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The Folk School is well known in some circles. It re-opened in May after being closed during the pandemic. There was some speculation on the sheriff's FB page, given the Doe's possible interest in art and photography, that this was someone who showed up during that time and found it closed.
 

WingsOverTX

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This is an interesting case. The digital pictures seem like they should help with an ID. But I'm guessing the location of the scenes in them was not recognized by the investigators nor was near where the remains were found. No NamUs entry yet.

This article shows three of the pics:
"Preliminary analysis indicates that the victim is a taller male that could be up to 50 years of age," the sheriff said in a statement.

Police found some of his personal effects near the 6200 block of Brasstown Road in Murphy. Items included eyeglasses, a watch, and a digital camera that contained several photos. They are hoping the public can use those details to help identify the man.
There are several Bic lighters, a red tactical flashlight, a set of silverware and a steel watch with gold-colored trim, among other items.

Photos from the camera show a wooded campsite with clothes hung out to dry, a photo of a landscape panting on canvas, and old barn and the front door of a camper.

This article includes an additional picture with what might be a Thanksgiving dinner with family/friends:
Clues from this article, which has a lot of details:

Cherokee County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Joe Wood said investigators are pursuing a lead that the bones belong to an artist with ties to New Mexico and the West Coast.

Within hours of those pictures appearing online, authorities were contacted by a north Georgia resident featured in one of the images. That tip pointed Wood out West.

“Just through the release of those pictures, we have developed more promising information,” Wood said. “I’m confident now that we will make an identification.

“We’ve got a fairly good identification on the paintings, the specific artist. The physical characteristics, the height and so forth of that artist is similar to the height of what these remains would be.”

Wood said investigators have been in the process of attempting to make a positive identification through dental records or DNA.

“I just don’t want to say his name until I know for sure,” he said. “I’m finding one possible family member in the whole country, and I’ve got to try to track that person down.”

Wood said from the start that the remains never aligned with any known missing persons from Cherokee County


BBM

 

WingsOverTX

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The electronics in particular helped narrow down the time frame of the man’s death and provide further clues. Wood said the laptop recovered from the scene was produced in 2016.


BBM
 

Hochman

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Pictures found on camera
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The campsite picture creeps me out...
 

Curious_in_NC

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The electronics in particular helped narrow down the time frame of the man’s death and provide further clues. Wood said the laptop recovered from the scene was produced in 2016.


BBM
Good find. Thanks! It sounds like this is close to being solved.

Near the end of the article they mention a missing NC person they had considered, Dylan Brock, who went missing near Franklin, which is not far from Murphy. I don't think there is a thread for him at WS but he is in NamUs. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

ETA Just started a thread for him NC - NC - Dylan Brock, 34, Franklin, truck and hiking gear found near AT trailhead, Jan 27, 2018
 
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annpats

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And -- what kind of set? Service for one -- camping/traveling, or service for 8, generous wedding gift, family heirloom?

jmho ymmv lrr
Exactly what I thought when I first read it!

"SIlverware" to me, means family heirloom grand old tableware, polished to a high shine.

Maybe they just simple meant a stainless steel knife fork and spoon? Sometimes known as a picnic or outdoors cutlery set.
 

WingsOverTX

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Exactly what I thought when I first read it!

"SIlverware" to me, means family heirloom grand old tableware, polished to a high shine.

Maybe they just simple meant a stainless steel knife fork and spoon? Sometimes known as a picnic or outdoors cutlery set.
4UYFNFYAXJDSPOQTOLNDR66B3Y_(2).jpg
The evidence photos are not great. I slightly cropped the one that shows a spoon & what looks to me like two knives. From link shared above.

Re: the photo of the clothing on the tree branch. I wonder if LE placed it there to photograph. It's so odd that it's a night photo. It's hard to imagine the deceased leaving the clothes like that & them remaining in that position over time.

With a friend/relative who was ID'd from the meal photo & provided a probable UID name, I think the ME probably has an ID by now but the media have not followed up to release it (as far as I can find). Plus there being a laptop & other unreleased photos from the camera as additional clues.

I asked one media outlet if they could find out if ID was resolved by ME & release it. I will post here if that happens.

Compared to most UID cases, this one has great leads I think.

MOO
 

ClaireNC

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The Folk School is well known in some circles. It re-opened in May after being closed during the pandemic. There was some speculation on the sheriff's FB page, given the Doe's possible interest in art and photography, that this was someone who showed up during that time and found it closed.
On Google maps it looks like he might have been found on school property. 6200 Brasstown Rd · 6200 Brasstown Rd, Murphy, NC 28906
 

WingsOverTX

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Direct lLlink to Feb. 21, 2022, post on sheriifs page:


Could this suggestion in a comment be valuable?

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