Yesterday, Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) released facial approximations of eight skeletal remains found in the Central Virginia region. The facial images represent the eight men whose remains were found in separate locations between 1988 and 2020.
“Many of these cases have remained unidentified for decades,” said Lara Newell, the long-term unidentified coordinator for OCME. “The goal is to get the information and the likenesses out into the public in the hopes that they will be recognized, and eventually identified.”
The facial approximations were created from CT scans of the skulls and examinations of the remains by the FBI Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Imaging Units at no cost to OCME or law enforcement.
Photographs of the facial approximations have been entered into the case files of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems (NamUs). NamUs is a web-based computer search engine funded by the National Institute of Justice to facilitate matching missing and unidentified persons.
Information on the unidentified individuals is as follows:
|The skeletal remains of a White male, approximately 39-64 years old, were found in an overgrown area near a pathway in the City of Richmond on July 2, 2020. Cause and manner of death undetermined. The individual is approximately 5’2” to 5’7” in height and had healed fractures to nose, ribs and shoulder (clavicle). Fractures to nose would have caused deviation to the left. NamUs ID: 72826|
|The skeletal remains of a Black male, approximately 33-49 years old, were found in the rear yard of a residential area within the floodplain of the James River in the City of Richmond on March 7, 2016. Cause and manner of death undetermined. The individual is approximately 5’9” to 6’3” in height and had healed fracture of the right knee, may have walked with a limp/locked knee. May have been partially deaf in the left ear due to trauma (healing). NamUs ID: 14889|
|The skeletal remains of a Hispanic male, approximately 25-35 years old, were found in a wooded area in Highland Springs in Henrico County on January 28, 2014. Cause of death is homicidal violence of undetermined etiology, and the manner is homicide. The individual is approximately 4’8” to 5’3” in height and has had numerous dental restorations. NamUs ID: 12242|
|The skeletal remains of a Black male, approximately 50-70 years old, were found in an industrial area by construction crews in the City of Richmond on September 26, 2000. Cause and manner of death undetermined. The individual is approximately 5’2” to 5’9” in height and healed rib and lower left leg fractures. NamUs ID: 6148|
|The skeletal remains of a Black male, approximately 34-68 years old, were found in a residential area in the City of Richmond on October 23, 1995. Cause and manner of death undetermined. The individual is approximately 5’9” in height and had jaw fracture. NamUs ID: 903|
|The skeletal remains of a White male, approximately 45-65 years old, were found in a wooded area in Brunswick County by a hunter on January 1, 1990. Cause and manner of death are undetermined. The individual had healed facial and abdominal trauma, possibly from a car accident or another traumatic event, 15 years prior to death. NamUs ID: 6513|
|The skeletal remains of two white Hispanic males were found in a wooded area in Ruther Glen in Caroline County by hunters on November 10, 1988. The older male is approximately 35-45 years old and between 5’5” and 5’9” in height. The younger male is approximately 17-25 years old and is approximately 5’6” in height. DNA indicates a possible parent-child relationship. Cause death was blunt force injury to the head and the manner is listed as homicide. NamUs IDs: 6507 (older) and 6301 (younger)|
The facial approximations are online at www.vdh.virginia.gov/medical-examiner/looking-for-a-missing-person/.
Anyone with any information about the possible identity of any of these cases is asked to call the Central District – OCME at (804) 786-3174 or email at OCME_CENT@vdh.virginia.gov.
Currently, Virginia has 224 unidentified remains statewide, with some remains dating back to 1948.