Monday, October 14, 2013

Dead Man Unidentified 1958


Lawrence County News August 21, 1958 Dead Man Unidentified

Investigation throughout the last four days have failed to identify the man whose nude body was found Sunday afternoon by Charles Gaines along a semi-– private road 6 miles East of Lawrenceville.

The body was noticed by Gaines who was driving along the road to George Field. He stopped his car to take a chew of tobacco and noticed what he thought was a dead animal, lying behind a log. After driving away the thought came to him that the body might be that of a man and he returned to learn that his supposition was correct.

Gaines notified authorities and Sheriff Carlos Whipkey, state trooper Howard Cleff, and Coroner Charles Emmons went to the location and brought the body to Lawrenceville. The body was that of a man about 30 years old, with black hair, and about 5 foot and 8 inches tall. He had a perfect set of teeth and was clothed in nothing but a pair of socks and a plaid shirt. The shirt had been partially removed with the tail covering  the head. The body was face down.

Coroner Emmons estimated that the body had been dead for 4 to 7 days, and it was badly decomposed. He called Dr. Charles W. Cullison, pathologist, who performed an autopsy. Dr. Cullison found no broken bones and little indication that the man had been beaten.

Prints were taken of the left hand, it being in better condition than the other, and prints were sent to Washington, DC. Monday morning, James Christianson came from the state laboratory in Springfield and made further investigations. He was able to take prints of both hands. Portions of the viscera were also taken to the lab to determine if poison had been used to cause death.

The authorities have no doubts about the man having been murdered and his body taken to the lonely road for disposal.

Upwards of 30 people have come to Lawrenceville or called by telephone to learn if perhaps the dead man was someone they knew to be missing. So far the descriptions failed to match.

It is expected that a report on the fingerprints will be sent to Sheriff Whipkey later this week, and the sheriff and the coroner have been assured that if a man has ever been printed they will be able to identify him.