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Medical Examiner's Office

Posted on: October 22, 2022

Efforts continue to ID man in 1993 John Doe case

1993 John Doe FB COVER

On August 27, 1993, a photographer walking in the 12700 blocks of the Soo Line railroad tracks in Pleasant Prairie found a deceased male's body. The decedent was in an advanced state of decomposition. The Pleasant Prairie Police and the Kenosha County Medical Examiner's Office (KCMEO) responded to the scene to investigate. An autopsy, forensic anthropology exam, forensic dental exam, and a reconstruction of the decedent's tattoo were performed. Unfortunately, the information did not yield the decedent's identity or any additional leads in the case.

In January 2009, investigators entered John Doe's case information into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) database; however, it didn't produce any additional leads, and the decedent's identity remained unknown. In December 2014, the KCMEO and the Pleasant Prairie Police met and decided to submit John Doe's skull to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) on behalf of NamUs for a secondary forensic anthropology examination, forensic odontology examination, and DNA extraction.

UNTCHI notified the KCMEO in June of 2016 that the forensic anthropologist tests showed the 1993 John Doe was a male between 40 and 60 years old with Hispanic, Native American, or Caucasian ancestry. With the DNA analysis complete, investigative teams uploaded the results into CODIS, the FBI's national database. Shortly after, in September 2016, the KCMEO contacted the Michigan State Police Biometrics and Identification Division. They agreed to perform a facial reconstruction of the 1993 John Doe to help identify the individual and shared the reconstruction results in May 2017, asking anyone with information on John Doe's identity to contact authorities.

Efforts continued in 2018 when the KCMEO partnered with the DNA Doe Project in hopes of identifying the 1993 decedent. While the identity of the 1993 John Doe has not yet been determined, advanced genetic genealogy has detailed that the decedent is of Native American descent, with family possibly being from Keshena, Shawano, Langlade, Calumet, or Waupaca areas. Investigators also determined the male descendant has relatives from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. The KCMEO and the DNA Doe Project teams continue to work diligently to give 1993 John Doe his name back. Anyone with interest should contact the Pleasant Prairie Police Department at 262.694.7353.

View the news release including reconstruction images here.

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