Unidentified in Winneshiek CountyCourtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety
Skull reconstruction pictures indicate what the individual may have looked like. The pictures show the clothing the victim was wearing at the time of death.

Unidentified White Male

STATUS: Unidentified

AGE: Approx. 30 – 40

CASE NUMBER: Winneshiek County – 1986





DESCRIPTION: White male, 30-40 years of age, 5’6″ to 5’9″, 145 – 160 lbs., brown hair, medium build.

DETAILS: Skeletal remains found March 31, 1986, between hay bales at a farm site in Winneshiek County, Iowa. The individual may have been traveling from Ohio to California.

CLOTHING: Plaid white-tan-black pile-lined jacket (mackinaw type farmers or cowboys jacket) with a Sears-Roebuck Oakbrook Sportsman/Sportswear label, medium white-tan short sleeved terry cloth V-neck polo shirt (Wedgefield brand), blue Levi cords with 33-inch waist and ranger tag on back of pants, black socks, Fruit of the Loom jockey shorts size 30-32, extra-large blue windbreaker (Madison brand), and brown shoes, 3/4-inch high suede, size 6 or 9. Shoes are each 11-1/4 inches long.

POSSESSIONS: A one dollar bill, a pink blanket (Esmond brand), and a match book

Winneshiek County in Iowa

Winneshiek County in Iowa


DENTAL: Dental information / charting is available and entered.

INVESTIGATING AGENCY: Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office, 319-382-4268 and Winneshiek County Medical Examiner’s Office, 563-382-9671.

EXCLUSIONS: The following individuals have been ruled out as being this decedent:

  • Michael Limesand (DOB 1958)
  • Melvin Synder (DOB 1985)

Questions and comments may be addressed to:

Winneshiek County Medical Examiner’s Office — 563-382-9671



2 Responses to Unidentified White Male, Winneshiek County 1985

  1. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Mike, your comments are spot on, in regards to the DNA. However, the cost is a factor. I would assume that they would get a court order to exhume the remains. Then if approved the cost to dig him up and take the necessary samples.

    The other thing is that they could have sent the remains to the FBI lab in Washington. Where they would be logged in to their evidence system. Then they would taken across the street to the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History. There a forensic anthropologist would do a sort of autopsy, and possibly make some determinations.

    I came across an excellent book from 1992, about this by one of their people who trsined6under the guy who established the Body Farm. They have been doing this since the1930,s.

    However, it goes back to the financial costs.

  2. MikeD says:

    Almost 35 years since this man’s estimated date of death. I wonder if there is any DNA available from his remains that could be added to a genealogy database just to see if there are any hits.

    I’ve always wondered what evidence there was that indicated to investigators that he may have been traveling from Ohio to California. How could that hurt the investigation if their reason was made public? Winneshiek county is pretty far from any major interstates where one would have attempted to hitchhike from if they were traveling across the country. Between hay bales would have been a good place to hide or sort of have shelter during the cold. I wish there was an address or GPS coordinates of the area where he was found. I’m wonder how far way from a highway he was. There are only a handful of highways in that county. Looking at weather in that area in April of 1985 I can see there were a number of days where it would have been below freezing. He may have succumbed to the elements.

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