Investigators with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office have a 19-year-old mystery on their hands and are hoping that someone out there can help solve it. The body of a man was found floating in Styx River near Seminole and they’ve never identified him. They’re hoping with the advances in technology and social media, they can close this cold case.
It was March of 2000 when a fisherman on Styx River found the body a man who’s since only been known as John Doe.
“They thought it might have been a deer or an animal so they went over and investigated it, determined again that it was a body, came on to shore and contacted the Sheriff’s Office,” said Capt. Clint Cadenhead with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators believe the victim to be of Asian or Native American decent. He had short, clean-cut, black hair and goatee. Investigators believe the man was around 50 years old, five and a half feet tall and weighed about 150 pounds. There were six identifying tattoos on his body. Three of them were of women, the name, “Becky”, an upside-down spade with diagonal lines through it and what appears to be three initials.
“Some of the tattoo artists that they spoke to back in the day think the tattoos are from early to mid-80s type artistry tattoo-wise so again, we’re just hoping that if we can get it out in front of as many eyes as we can, somebody’s going to see it and recognize a tattoo or they’re the ones that did the tattoo,” Cadenhead explained.
The cause of death was ruled to be drowning and investigators don’t believe foul play was involved. His blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit. This is the first of several cold cases the Sheriff’s Office plans to revisit in upcoming months.
“It’s not the oldest. It was one that we could try to ease back into and see,” Cadenhead said. “You know, put it out there and see what happens with this. Some of the others are going to be much more complex cases, but again, as technology changes, we try to keep up. A lot of times, those cases, as you know, can be solved through technology as it improves.”
Most residents in Seminole either didn’t live there at the time or don’t remember the case. One resident said they’re glad to see a cold case like this being opened back up.
“I think anytime that they can identify someone, even if foul play isn’t involved…if the family can find out and things like that, it’s a good thing,” he said.
In this case, investigators are hoping that the expanded reach of media, over the air and online will reach someone that may recognize their John Doe. They’re asking folks to share information about this case through their social media platforms and if anyone bring this 19-year-old case to a close, you’re asked to call the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.