It may be something you only see in television shows, but the fact of the matter is, Fayette County has their very own “cold case”.
On November 17, 1981, the body of a 16-to-20-something-year-old white male was discovered floating in Paint Creek near Lampe Road in North Western Fayette County.
John Doe's final resting place, Section 08, block 209, of the Washington Cemetery is photographed above. His grave goes unmarked.
His nude body was discovered in the creek by two hunters who were in the area.
Reports say the male had suffered two small caliber bullet wounds that had entered his chest and passed through his body. The wounds were then carved open with a knife and the victim was stabbed over a dozen times, for what investigators believe may have been an attempt to conceal the fatal gunshot wounds.
A formal autopsy was conducted at the Hamilton County morgue in Cincinnati. It was determined that the male had green eyes,weighed 160 pounds, and was 65 inches in length. He had light brown curly hair which was 5 inches in maximum length.
The Coroner who performed the autopsy gave a detailed analysis of the victim’s teeth.
“The teeth are in a good state of repair. The lower teeth are crooked with a lingual recession of the right lateral incisor and the left central incisor and distal deviation of the lower right cuspid tooth,” said the Coroner.
It was reported that he had a tan line, that indicative to a bikini being worn in Arizona, Mexico, or California.
While the autopsy was being performed, a scuba diving team searched Paint Creek for clues that might have identified the male.
John Doe's facial sketch can been seen above
Teletype reports of the body being found were sent to every corner of the nation in an attempt to locate a next-of-kin, according former Sheriff Robert McArthur.
The scuba team found nothing.
When no leads produced any solid results, the county gave the male the name “John Doe”.
After waiting several months, former Prosecuting Attorney James Kiger reportedly went to the Fayette County Commissioners and requested funds be allocated to provide burial for John Doe. The Morrow Funeral Home in Washington Court House was called to handle the arrangements.
After a burial plot was located in Section 08 Block 209 of the Washington Cemetery, what was known as “Potter’s Field” in 1981, it became the final resting place to 12 bodies, including John Doe.
He was placed into a wooden casket by Morrow and was lowered into the ground on March 16, 1982.
Only the minister, Reverend Harriette G. Zoller of Grace United Methodist Church, a cemetery worker, Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney James Kiger, Sheriff’s Leuitenant William R. Crooks, and funeral directors David D. Morrow and Edwin Isenberger attended the solemn funeral service under the red felt tent in Section 08.
John Doe’s grave is not marked by any headstones or markings, but merely an empty space located in between nearby graves.
Fayette County Sheriff Vernon P. Stanforth said that the case remains open and is a “cold case”, but every couple of years, a call is received from another law enforcement agency inquiring about John Doe, but nothing has ever panned out.
John Doe’s killer or killers were never located and they go unpunished for their crimes.