Cold Case: 25 years later murder victim still unidentified

Cold Case: 25 years later murder victim still unidentified

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The University of Tennessee made a dummy of the mystery man. (source: WATE file) The University of Tennessee made a dummy of the mystery man. (source: WATE file)
Several pictures of what the man would have looked like in different stages of his life were created. (source: Loudon County Sheriff's Office) Several pictures of what the man would have looked like in different stages of his life were created. (source: Loudon County Sheriff's Office)
"If somebody in his family is arrested and their DNA showed up on a form, we can match him to a relative," said Lt. Patrick Upton, of the Loudon County Sheriff's Office. "If somebody in his family is arrested and their DNA showed up on a form, we can match him to a relative," said Lt. Patrick Upton, of the Loudon County Sheriff's Office.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) – On September 29, 1985, a man was found dead on the side of a Loudon County road.

Back then, Buttermilk Pike, where the body was found, was a remotely rural area.

Investigators say the man had been shot twice in the head. They spent years putting in a lot of resources to figure out his identity.

Today, Lt. Patrick Upton with the Loudon County Sheriff's Office is looking into the cold case.

"I believe the man was dead about 12 to 14 days. I think the body was dumped there," said Upton about the Buttermilk Pike location.

Forensics was in its early stages in the 1980s. It was a big deal in 1985 to recreate what a person would have looked like when they were alive.

The University of Tennessee made a dummy of the mystery man, producing several pictures of what he would have looked like in different stages of his life.

The case got a lot of publicity. His face was televised all over the country on network news shows, with no responses about his identity.

Missing person listings also got investigators nowhere.

Now with his DNA on file and new technology, there's some renewed hope to figure out who the unknown man is.

"If somebody in his family is arrested and their DNA showed up on a form, we can match him to a relative," said Lt. Upton. "Then we can go back to the relatives and say, do you have anyone in your family who is missing, because your DNA matches his?"

Even a quarter century later, investigators think they have a shot at figuring out who the man is.

"This guy has to be somebody's dad or brother or something," said Lt. Upton. "Somebody has to be missing this guy somewhere. He left his house and never came back. It's amazing we still don't know who he is."

Lt. Upton thinks the man may have been killed out of state and his body dumped in Loudon County, which is why they've never been able to figure out who he is.

If you have any information on the case, you can contact the Loudon County Sheriff's Office at (865) 986-4823.

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