The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit has received a new facial reconstruction depicting the victim of a 1980 cold case. On May 28, 1980, skeletal remains were found near a canal/culvert on State Road 11 about 2 miles south of the Bunnell, Florida city limits.
In 1980, the medical examiner and forensic anthropologists believed the skeletal remains belonged to a black male who was estimated to be between 20 to 27 years old, 5’6” to 5’7” and 145 to 150 pounds. The investigation revealed the unknown male was the victim of a homicide. The male was unable to be identified and has remained unidentified ever since. So far, this victim does not match any known missing person cases from the same time period.
In December of 2022, the FCSO Cold Case Unit submitted the victim’s bones to Othram, Inc. for DNA processing in hopes of identifying the victim. In October 2023, Othram provided information that suggested the victim’s biogeographical admixture was mostly of African origin with a smaller percentage of European origin. Further information from Othram suggests the victim’s genetic family could be from the areas surrounding Flagler County.
The Cold Case Unit then requested assistance from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Imaging Unit (PBCSO-FIU) to complete a craniofacial reconstruction. The PBCSO FIU interpreted the data from Othram and examined the skull to provide the reconstruction. The reconstruction is an interpretation of how the victim could have possibly looked and is not meant to serve as an exact depiction of the victim.
“I want to thank the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Now we need the public’s help to tell us who he is. Someone knows him. Let’s give him a name so his family will know what happened.”
There are some instances where a missing person may have never been reported or an attempt to file a missing person report was denied for various reasons. Anyone with information or who may think this could be their loved one, please contact the FCSO Cold Case Unit at [email protected] or email [email protected]. Tips may also be submitted anonymously through CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida by calling 1-888-277 TIPS.