On June 20, 1974, a hiker discovered the partial skeletal remains of a young child while walking near Mile Valley Golf Course in Mill Valley, Marin County, California. They were walking along the 100 block of Country Club Drive, near Buena Vista Avenue and Circle Avenue.
The area around the golf course is said to lie between a residential area and a nature preserve.
The remains were brought in for examination upon their discovery, where it was determined the child had likely died sometime between 1972 and 1974.
As only the skull, ribs and vertebrae were recovered from the site, a cause of death was unable to be determined. While the remains were initially believed to have belonged to a female, DNA testing would later reveal they were that of a male.
John Doe’s race is unknown, but it’s possible he was white. He’s believed to have been between four and six years of age. Due to the state of the remains, his height, weight and eye colour were unable to be determined, but it has been said that he was likely “considerably” small for his age. Strands of hair found with the remains showed him to have had brown hair.
An olive-green windbreaker or ski coat with a hood; a blue sweater; a green and white stripped knit-type shirt; and a blue t-shirt were located near the body, while a 1/2″-sized red lady bug pin was located with the remains.
There appeared to have been no attempt at a burial, and the bones did not show any signs of abuse or malnutrition. It has been noted that his teeth had a grey-blue discolouration to them, which was likely caused by the use of tetracyclines or antibiotics.
1) Douglas Charles Chapman, who went missing from Alfred, Maine on June 2, 1971.
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 Mill Valley Police Department at 415-389-4100 or the Marin County Coroner’s Office at 415-389-6043.
Image Credit: NCMEC/Gloria Louise Nusse