Artistic renderings of the victim.
Date of Discovery: December 21, 1991
Location of Discovery: Hendrixville, Dekalb County, Alabama
Estimated Date of Death: August 1991
State of Remains: Not recognizable - Decomposing/putrefaction
Cause of Death: Suicide by hanging
Estimated Age: 18-25 years old
Race: White or White/Native American
Height: 5'11"to 6'1"
Weight: 165-180 lbs.
Hair Color: Unknown
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown
Dentals: Available. Teeth were in good condition with several fillings. All wisdom teeth were fully erupted.
DNA: Not Available
Clothing: Black Levi 501 jeans (size 33-34), a black button-front shirt, and white LA Gear athletic shoes (size approximately 10 1/2).
Additional Personal Items: Unknown
Hunters discovered the victim's partially decomposed body hanging from a tree in a wooded area in the vicinity of DeKalb County 51 and Alabama 227 near the Etowah County line. The man apparently committed suicide by probably standing on stacked logs and hanging himself from a rope tied to a tree.
In September 1991, a few months before the discovery of the remains, an abandoned blue 1982 Ford Escort with North Dakota license plate BBU178 was located in a chert pit near where the victim was found. The car was towed to a garage in Collinsville but was not initially searched because it was not reported stolen.
After the discovery of the victim, officers searched the car on December 22, 1991. They found several items: a Pizza Hut receipt dated August 27, 1991 from Cullman, Alabama; a ticket stub from Smith Lake, Cullman; a piece of paper bearing the phone number of St. Benedictine's Abbey in Cullman; a notebook; a forged birth certificate from Washington state in the name of Damon Hunter; a blank birth certificate from Washington state; and a note, which read "I have a gun. If the cops come, I will kill everyone in here, then myself. Put all the fifties, twenties and tens in a large envelope with this note quickly and calmly." The note led to speculation that the man may have robbed a bank or business.
Investigators traced the car to the Donaldson Hotel in Fargo, North Dakota. A man using the name "Damon Hunter" had purchased the car there. The man, known as Hunter, checked into the hotel on August 5 and paid $17.20 for one night. The next day, he paid an additional $53.75 for another week.
Police called St. Benedictine's Abbey, where someone told officers that a white male called the Abbey during the late summer of 1991. The young man said he was in serious financial trouble. He said the people he owed had already assaulted him and threatened his parents. The man also said he was considering robbery to obtain the money he needed. The identity of the man who called the abbey and his connection to the abandoned vehicle and the skeleton have not been determined.
Agency Name: Alabama Bureau of Investigation
Agency Contact Person: Lt. Marvin Roye
Agency Phone Number: 205-322-4691
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: Unknown
NCIC Case Number: U546893200
NamUs Case Number: 14028
Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences
Grand Forks Herald News Archive (December 27, 1991)
The Huntsville Times News Archive (May 11, 1992)
Last Updated: 9/30/2016
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information may be estimated.