TOM GREEN COUNTY, Texas – “It’s been 24 years today since they found John Doe II, as we refer to him, in the northern part of Tom Green County. He’s remained unidentified all these years,” Lt. Terry Lowe with the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office said.
The evidence shows that while John Doe II was found on December 2, 1996, he had been deceased around three weeks before his body was discovered.
“At the time of the death he was estimated to between the ages of 28 and 50 and approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall with a slight frame. His hair was medium brown or possibly red, but it’s possible the lightened appearance may be from exposure to the sun before the body was discovered,” Lt. Lowe said.
More clues suggested that John Doe II was homeless and had been camping in the area.
“When he was found he had a bag with him with the name Wayne Rudd written on the bag so we’ve gone all these years thinking that may be his name but it could have already been written on the bag. Regardless we’ve been unsuccessful locating anyone by that name,” Lt. Lowe said.
The bag also had “Austin, Texas” written on it. However, investigators still could not find any missing persons reports that matched a similar description or linked John Doe II to a name. The remains were sent to a lab for an autopsy and nothing pointed to foul play. In fact, hypothermia was suspected to be the cause of death.
“I talked to the Center for Human Identification in reference to this case and sent pictures from the scene and they noted that the clothes were inside out and they said that’s a sign of someone suffering hypothermia because the person feels like he’s hot and in a frenzy takes off their clothes and it’s inside out but they’re not, they’re actually cold,” Lt. Lowe said.
Currently, the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office investigators say they’ve taken this case as far as they can and even though they’ve utilized new technological resources, they haven’t produced any new developments.
“Unfortunately, and it’s probably true across the nation, there’s no indication of foul play and to take this investigation further would cost big bucks so probably in evidence lockers throughout the United States there are people like this. It doesn’t go way but it’s not actively investigated so you take it as far as you can take it and hope that something breaks,” Lt. Lowe said.
While this case may be at a standstill, Lt. Lowe shares advice to anyone who may have a missing relative: come forward and file a report no matter how long they’ve been missing.
Many of you may remember when a woman’s body was discovered at the old race track off of FM 2015. Lt. Lowe says this case resulted in two murder convictions and it began with someone filing a missing persons report.
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