Reconstruction of the victim; Photo of dog that may have belonged to the victim; Victim's T-shirt
Date of Discovery: March 12, 1992
Location of Discovery: Wellington, Lyon County, Nevada
Estimated Date of Death: Unknown
State of Remains: Not recognizable - Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Homicide possibly by stabbing
Estimated Age: 35-50 years old
Race: White, of European descent
Height: 6'0" to 6'2"
Hair Color: Reddish brown
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown
Dentals: Available. Root canal on tooth #3. Missing 8 teeth during life.
Fingerprints: Not available.
DNA: Not available. Sample not retained.
Clothing: He was clad only in a pull-over type T-shirt. An imprint, possibly of feather was noted on the shirt. A complete sock and a partial sock were located nearby. No other clothing was located in the immediate area of the remains. A pair of black Standia athletic shoes were found approximately 0.5 miles from the victim. The shoes themselves were located approximately 160 feet apart from another. A Mervyn's elastic band from a pair of men's underwear (size 32 to 34) was located north of the remains.
Additional Personal Items: A makeshift campsite was located within 105 feet of the victim, in which the following was found: A blanket, a black hat with the words "Heavenly Lake Tahoe", blue jeans, black men's Haines underpants (size 32 to 34), and a broken dog collar.
On March 12, 1992, an anonymous phone call was received by the Nevada Highway Patrol in which the caller stated that he had discovered skeletal remains in a canyon off of Sand Canyon Road, approximately a mile east of Highway 338, near Wellington, in Lyon County, Nevada.
Investigators recovered the remains. Bone fragments were found as far as 75 feet from remains. A shallow grave was found near the remains and animal activity noted. The victim's hands and feet were missing.
In October 1991, an anonymous caller had contacted the Mono County Sheriff's Department stating there was an abandoned vehicle on Highway 338. This vehicle, a 1979 Pontiac Grand Prix, had not been claimed and was found within 2 miles of the discovery of the skeletal remains. This vehicle was registered to a man in Oklahoma.
In October of 1999, this case was reassigned and reactivated. As a result, the owner of the Grand Prix was later located in Colorado and interviewed. A news release was published on October 6, 1999 asking for the public's help in identifying John Doe. As a result of the news release, a woman who lived within walking distance of the remains said a dog used to come around her residence and would leave in the direction of where John Doe was discovered. She claimed the dog had no collar, and provided a photograph of the dog to detectives.
The dispatch tape containing the anonymous phone call to Lyon County regarding the discovery of the remains was transcribed but still offered no evidence as to the identity of the caller.
Discussions with a Mono County Sheriff's Deputy found that he recalled seeing an abandoned car previously described and thought the car had been registered to an unnamed man. This man was interviewed with no conclusive results at to whether the abandoned car is related to this case.
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center is a cold weather training base located in Bridgeport, California for which Marines throughout the nation attend. The deserter list was obtained regarding this facility for those who deserted during the time period June 1991 through March 13, 1992. All these names were followed-up with no leads to the identity of the victim.
Agency Name: Nevada Department of Public Safety
Agency Contact Person: Detective Mike Marty
Agency Phone Number: 775-684-7439
Agency E-Mail: mmarty(at)dps.state.nv.us
Agency Case Number: C-92-126
Agency Name: Lyon County Coroner's Office
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 775-463-6621
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 0309-92 LYO
NCIC Case Number: U559470084
NamUs Case Number: 7582
Washoe County Coroner's Office
Added: 8/24/13; Last Updated: 2/14/16
Submit an update to this case file.
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information may be estimated.