Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Seeks Public’s Help

August 5, 2014

(Richmond, Va.) — The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) needs the public’s help to identify several deceased individuals found in Central and Eastern Virginia between 1981 and 2003.

To help with the identification, the OCME has computer-generated photographs showing how these individuals likely looked at the time of their deaths, based on the available evidence.

Recently, a computer-generated photograph of an unidentified individual found in Newport News was circulated throughout the community. The photograph did generate additional information for police, allowing them to positively identify the person (Case #1).

These photographs also have been entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), a web-based computer search engine funded by the National Institute of Justice for matching missing and unidentified persons. They can be viewed by their NamUs identification numbers at

Anyone with any information about the identity of any of these individuals (Cases #2- #8) is asked to call:

  • In Norfolk, OCME Investigator Paul Yoakam, 757-683-8366, or
  • In the Richmond area, OCME Investigators Bridget Kinnier, 804-786-6056, or Lara Frame-Newell, 804-786-3174.

(NOTE: Downloadable Photos at

CASE #1: (SOLVED): Newport News
Michael Ruff – Identified by his family based on computer-generated photograph and confirmed by family DNA.

CASE #2: Richmond
A white male homicide victim was found May 19, 1981 in the alley at 306 E. Leigh Street. He was approximately 20 to 35 years old, 5’10” tall and 148 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing blue jeans, a plaid shirt, yellow socks and black shoes. NamUs#8578

CASE #3 (2 photographs): Norfolk
A black male who died from drowning was found in the Elizabeth River near Pier 25 at the Norfolk Naval Base on June 10, 1981. He was approximately 18 to 25 years old, 5’7” tall, 164 lbs., with black hair, mustache and beard, and brown eyes. He was wearing a leather jacket, tan shirt, brown corduroy pants, brown shoes and black socks. NamUs #6626

CASE #4: Norfolk
A black female died from drowning and was found on the beach in the 400 block of West Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk on February 18, 1982. She was approximately 30 to 40 years old, 5’3” tall, 150 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes, burn scars on the backs of her hands and a 6” scar on her abdomen. She was wearing a red-orange sweater, pink sweater, two pairs of jeans and brown suede shoes. NamUs #6627

CASE #5: New Kent County
A white male was found in the water near a bridge on Route 60 in New Kent County on August 30, 1984. He had been in the water less than 24 hours. He was approximately 59 to 69 years old, 5’10” tall, with hazel eyes, balding reddish-light brown hair, unshaven, toothless and extremely long fingernails and toenails. The individual also had fractures of both bones in his left lower leg, surgical scars from a left hip replacement, a tattoo of a heart and anchor on his left forearm, and was wearing blue jeans, a red, blue and yellow plaid flannel shirt, brown shoes, socks and a Timex Quartz watch with leather band. He also had a wooden walking cane. NamUs #6640

CASE #6: Petersburg
An elderly black female died from natural causes and was found on S. Adam Street on November 24, 1992. She was approximately 75 to 80 years old, 5’1” tall, 75 lbs., with gray/black hair and was wearing a pink slip nightgown. She was staying at a house on 37th Street in Petersburg. Her first name is believed to be “Wilma,” but her last name is unknown. She may be from North Carolina. NamUs #2227

CASE #7: Emporia
A white male teenage Grateful Dead fan died in a vehicle accident on June 26, 1995. He had no identification and the family of the deceased driver did not know him. He was approximately 16 to 21 years old, 5’6” tall and 169 lbs., with a homemade tattoo of a star on his left arm, red hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a “Grateful Dead 30th anniversary 1995” T-shirt. NamUs #6095

CASE #8: Norfolk, Va.
A Hispanic or Asian male died from drowning and was found in the Elizabeth River on March 5, 2003. He was approximately 17 to 25 years old, with black hair, wearing blue jeans, a black shirt and a brown belt with a leather buckle with the outline of a horse. NamUs #2560