Eatonton John Doe (1978)

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On June 10, 1978, the body of a deceased young male was found within a train car carrying coal in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia. The discovery was made whilst the train was stopped at the Georgia Power Plant, located just southeast the city.


Upon John Doe’s body being brought in for examination, it was determined he had died approximately one to two days prior to being found. However, his cause of death is currently unknown.


John Doe is described as an African American male who is believed to have been between the ages of 15 to 22 years of age. While his height has not been publicly disclosed, his weight has been estimated to be anywhere from 130 to 140 pounds. His brown-to-black-coloured hair, which was worn in an afro style, was several inches long and had been partially dyed with a reddish tint. His eyes were brown.

When found, John Doe was wearing a black knit shirt, a pair of jeans with an elastic belt that had the word “jeans” inscribed on it, bikini-style underwear and one grey leather lace-up shoe on his left foot, which is said to have been a size 8.

According to investigators, John Doe’s fingernails were long, and his eyelashes were black and curled. While he was of a slim build, he looked to be well-nourished. He had sutures in his upper left lip, which were in the midst of healing and appeared to have been from a recent injury. He also had several old scars on his legs, upper back and upper chest. It’s been noted that he had an extra (cervical) rib on his left side.

During the investigation, it was discovered that the train on which John Doe was discovered had been put together in Fariston, Kentucky on June 8, 1978. Upon leaving the city, it made stops in Corbin, Kentucky; Etowah, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Camak, Warren County, Georgia.  It’s currently unknown which city John Doe entered the train. It is also unknown if he was alive when he boarded the train or if someone had disposed of his body after death.


John Doe’s DNA and dentals are available for comparison.

Those with information regarding the identity of John Doe are asked to contact the Putnam County Coroner’s Office at 706-485-7722 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at 478-445-4173.

Image Credit: NCMEC/Georgia Bureau of Investigation

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