© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Investigators hope digital technology will help identify 'John Doe' found 22 years ago in Canton

Clay model of a skull on a table with black tablecloth beside a cast of a reconstructed face.
Rich Nemec
Ideastream Public Media
Stark County law enforcement is hoping a new facial reconstruction of a skull that was found in a wooded area 22 years ago will help them identify the body.

The Ohio Attorney General and Stark County Coroner are asking for the public's help identifying a man whose skeletal remains were discovered in Canton shortly before Christmas in 2001.

The remains were discovered at 2931 Trump Ave SE and may have been there for many years, according to a media release.

A forensic artist with the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation completed a facial reconstruction to create a model of what the man may have looked like. BCI then partnered with computer scientists at Ohio State University to generate digital images of the man with different hairstyles and facial hair, which officials shared at a Thursday press conference.

Five angles of a cast of a Black man's face as created digital reconstruction
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
A Bureau of Criminal Investigation forensic artist's facial reconstruction of the unknown man whose remains were found in Stark County.

“He was found just a couple of months after the twin towers were struck on 9/11, that’s how long this person has been waiting to be identified," Attorney General Dave Yost said in a media release. "Somebody somewhere knows him. People loved him. We need to help provide them closure.”

The man is believed to be between the ages of 21 and 44 years old and stood between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet tall, according to the release. No clothing was recovered with the remains. His weight, hair color and eye color are unknown, but authorities said they believe he was Black.

Six digital angles of a facial reconstruction of a Black man
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
Investigators created digital reconstructions of the man at different ages with different hairstyles, based on the skull found in 2001.

Investigators collected the man's DNA and have it on file.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Stark County Sheriff’s Office at 330-430-3823 or 330-451-3937.

Stephanie is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.
Josh Boose is associate producer for newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.