The 1975 Scioto River mystery

Scioto River Man-reconstructed-skull3The 1975 mystery of the unidentified man found in the Scioto River in Chillicothe, Ohio has finally been solved. In 1975, a man’s body was pulled from the Scioto River. He was naked and his ankles were tied with rope. The autopsy showed that the man died by drowning but the tied ankles leave authorities with many questions.

Was this a murder? The biggest question for authorities: who is this man? In 1975 we didn’t have such advanced 3D skull reconstruction but now we do.

The timeline for this case:

Nov. 3, 2011: Body was exhumed from the Londonderry cemetery and taken to the Hamilton County coroner’s office.

Nov.–Dec., 2011: Elizabeth A. Murray, PhD, preformed a second autopsy and anthropological exam. That provided a profile that was uploaded into NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. John Doe became NamUs Case No. 6608. DNA specimens were collected.

Dec. 16, 2011: DNA specimens were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for DNA testing.

May 8, 2012: DNA testing is completed, and profiles have been uploaded to the state level of CODIS (SDIS), the Combined DNA Index System. The results will be routinely searched against all appropriate indexes within CODIS for potential associations. Investigators are awaiting the final results of the search. They don’t expect a match but hope for a potential comparison.

April to May 17: Worked with Catyana R. Skory, forensic artist with the Broward sheriff’s office, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on the facial reconstruction. Skory completed a clay sculpture using photos of and the actual skull.

Additional information: this man was missing all of his front teeth, had significant tooth staining and, he suffered prior rib fractures (broken ribs) and a broken nose at some point in life.

In September 2012 we learned this man’s identity. His name is Flowers.  For more articles about him check here, here, and here.

Despite the fact that we now have his name (although I had trouble finding a full name) questions remain about the case. He was after all tied up. Why?