Sharkey County John Doe

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DISCOVERY:

On January 8, 2014, an employee with Duett Hack Hole Services discovered a human cranium within a drainage canal in Sharkey County, Mississippi. It appeared to belong to a small child and thus the man called in his discovery to the Sharkey County Sheriff’s Department.

Upon receiving the call, a sheriff’s deputy and the Sharkey County Coroner were dispatched to the scene, located in a crop field on the east side of the county, near the Sharkey-Issaquena County line, to retrieve the skull.  A later search of the site would uncover no further remains, suggesting animal activity had occurred.

AUTOPSY:

The cranium was sent to the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office before being sent to Mississippi State University for anthropological analysis. While the sex of the remains was initially unknown, DNA analysis would reveal the deceased had been male.

Investigators estimate John Doe to have died years prior to being found. While they believe his remains had been in the drainage canal for years, they have been unable to determine the exact length of time. As well, given the lack of remains found at the scene, a cause of death has not been determined.

DETAILS:

As John Doe’s skull was the only body part recovered from the scene, much about his physical appearance is unknown, including his race, height, weight, hair and eye colour. What has been determined is that he was likely between the ages of 5 and 7, with some estimates putting his age as low as 4 years old.

The case was initially handled by the Sharkey County Sheriff’s Department. As of 2019, it was been turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

Those with information regarding the identity of John Doe are asked to contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation at 601-987-1530 or the Sharkey County Sheriff’s Department at 601-987-1530. Tips can also be into the Mississippi Chief Medical Examiner’s Office at 601-420-9140, 1-855-626-7600 or 601-987-1440.

Image Credit: NCMEC

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