WALLACEBURG, ON – It has been over 25 years since they were found, and police are still stumped as to the identity of the human remains that were recovered from the Mitchell’s Bay area of Lake St. Clair.
The skeletal remains of a young adult male were located on March 23, 1987, in a marsh near Michell’s Bay, at Lot 8, Con. 12 in Dover Township near Wallaceburg, Ontario. An examination of the remains revealed severe trauma to the left side of the skull, and an autopsy determined that the cause of death was drowning.
Police still need assistance on this cold case to determine the identity of the remains. A computer image reconstruction was completed nearly 20 years after the remains were recovered, and police are hoping that it may help assist people in identifying the body.
The fact that the remains were completely decomposed posed a problem for police in determining not only how long the remains had been in the marsh before they were discovered, but also in determining some key characteristics of the remains that would held to shed light on the possible identity of the body. Police were unable to determine the exact race or ethnicity of the remains, and had difficulty narrowing down the age and height of the body as well.
Police were able to estimate that the man died sometime in the two years prior to the discovery of his body. Coins found on the body included one that was distributed after March of 1985, so he could have met his demise in Mitchell’s Bay any time after that, up until early 1987.
The OPP have described the remains as those of a man who was possibly Caucasian, Hispanic, or interracial. He is estimated to have been between 22 and 37 years of age, and between 5′ and 5’7″ in height, with a slight build. He was recovered wearing an unknown brand of shirt with a 43cm collar; “Fabrizio” brand blue jeans; “Winner” brand running shoes, blue and grey with velcro straps, size 8; and white sports socks with blue and red stripes. The running shoes were determined to have been purchased at a Canadian store.
Police believe the man could either have been a local resident, a drifter, or a seasonal worker. They were also able to determine that he was both a smoker, and a coffee drinker. He may also have suffered from lower back pain. He is described as having good dental hygiene, and police have his dental charts on record for comparison.
Police still need help from the public to solve this cold case, and to give an identity to the young man whose life came to an early end over 25 years ago. Anyone with information is encouraged to please come forward and help provide closure for this tragic case.
Any person with information regarding this case should immediately contact the Director of the Criminal Investigation Branch of the Ontario Provincial Police immediately at 1-888-310-1122, or their nearest police authority, or can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.