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- Jun 9, 2016
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Investigators hope science can help identify San Angelo's two 'John Does'
In San Angelo, the two men found here have remained nameless for over two decades, despite the efforts of the CID team.
One of them has been graced with the nickname “White Socks” – because of the pure white socks he was wearing when his body was discovered. The other man is known simply as John Doe 2.
White Socks, or John Doe 1, was found Nov. 15, 1987 within the area of Twin Buttes Lake.
The details of the entirety of his life are summed up by his physical characteristics, clothing and time of death – with the clothing being the only area investigators could define with certainty.
Wearing size 34x30 Levi's blue jeans, jockey shorts and the white socks, he could have been 5’6, or 5’9, or somewhere in between.
Reduced to skeletal remains, an anthropologist determined he was potentially Hispanic, but couldn’t be sure. The “race of the skull appears to be most consistent with Caucasian,” the case summary states.
His weight was 150 to 170 pounds. He was missing two molars, the right upper and lower, but didn’t have significant dental work done otherwise. He had been in the area where he was discovered for five to six months, making his time of death May or June 1987.
The cause of his death has yet to be determined, but Lowe and Fiveash anticipate it will eventually be determined a homicide. Because he was found without shoes, in the middle of mesquite bushes, and his socks were still white, they said it was apparent that he didn’t walk out there, meaning his body was dumped.
At the time of White Sock's death, using or collecting DNA wasn’t common practice, nor was the science well-understood by the general public.
In 2013, while studying crime scene photos from White Socks’ file, Lowe noticed a defect on his skull. The photo was sent to Dr. Harrell Gill-King at the University of Northern Texas Forensic Services Unit, the nationally-recognized specialty lab for missing and unidentified people.
King and the CID team thought the defect could be a clue into what had happened to the man, so the decision to disinter his body from his burial site at Johnson's Lawnhaven Memorial Grounds was made.
The hope was that the advanced state of science might help give him his proper name but the defect was determined to be of natural causes.
The hard part about working cold cases, Fiveash said, is that “you get a new lead that might be the key to unlock the case, to arrest someone, then it turns out its nothing.”
Having already taken White Socks from his resting site, they decided to deliver him to UNT to see what other measures could be taken to identify him, including finally collecting and logging his DNA into the national NamUs database, used specifically for the missing and unidentified.
UNT was able to more accurately determine his age, which is now believed to be between 17 to 21-years-old.
From UNT, White Socks was delivered to the FBI's headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. In 1994, DPS experts had done a facial reconstruction of White Socks’ skull, producing a sketch of what he might have looked like. Nearly 15 years later, however, science allows a much more accurate facial reconstruction – which Lowe and Fiveash have been waiting to receive back from the FBI since dropping him off in 2013.
They have been told it should be done by June.
https://www.gosanangelo.com/story/n...identify-san-angelos-two-john-does/599225002/With White Sock's reconstruction just weeks away, Lowe and Fiveash are hoping someone, somewhere, will recognize his face. Anyone with information on him, or John Doe 2, are encouraged to call the Tom Green County Sheriff's Department.