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Clay Facial Reconstruction Gives John Doe an Identity

Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix

October 05, 2010

DETROIT — A clay facial reconstruction could help identify a murdered man whose remains were found in a Detroit alley in 2008, police said.

The reconstruction made by a Michigan State Police forensic artist was released Monday and represents a man who was shot four times — once in the head and three times in the torso — and buried in a shallow grave on the city’s northwest side.

The victim is described as a black male, 30 to 45 years old, and 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall. When he was killed, he was wearing a black shirt with a dragon design on the front and back, and black leather sandals.

Police ask anyone with information to call 800-773-2587 (800-SPEAK-UP).

Police say his death may be drug-related.

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Detroit police Sgt. Gary Diaz told the Detroit Free Press for a story published Monday that identifying the man could help solve the case, and that police have identified a person of interest.

He said the man was one of four discovered in the neighborhood on Mansfield. Two of the men are believed to have been killed in 2007 and the other two, including the man whose identity is being sought, were killed in 2004.

Diaz said it’s possible other bodies have not yet been discovered.

State Police Trooper Sarah Krebs, the forensic artist, said the man whom police are trying to identify had several healed broken ribs, a healed broken nose and poor dental hygiene. She used witness tips about the case to create a scruffy beard and salt-and-pepper hair.

Krebs said reconstructions can take up to 100 hours to complete.

“My cases are never new cases,” she said. “They’re always old cases.”


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