Police seek help in identifying man found dead
The Putnam County Coroner's Office is seeking the public's help to positively identify a man found dead in his home southeast of Greencastle.
Deputy Coroner Brian Hopkins told the BannerGraphic the name of the 68-year-old man who was found dead inside his home on March 7, but Coroner Thomas Miller asked that his identity be withheld to protect the man's assets, which include a large amount of property.
The man was buried as a "John Doe" until such time as the coroner's office can positively identify him.
Hopkins said he has reason to believe the man was married about 28 years ago, but he has been unable to determine the whereabouts of any wife. The man lived alone.
"Everyone I've talked to said he was kind of a loner," Hopkins said.
Also, Hopkins said he has been made aware of a possible sister living in California but has been unable to contact her.
Investigators didn't know the man died until a long-time friend of the deceased called police after she hadn't hear from him in several months. When police arrived at the home, they found the man's body.
"He had been there, I'm guessing, since about Feb. 19," Hopkins said.
Investigators were able to make an assumption about the man's identity by going through his property, however, the law requires them to identify a body by one of three means -- appearance, dental records or DNA.
Hopkins explained that because of the length of time the man had been dead, he could not be identified by his appearance.
Since the man's dentist is not known, there is no way to check dental records, Hopkins said.
Thirdly, since investigators have been unable to locate any family members, they cannot use DNA samples to determine the man's identity either.
"Right now, we're kind of at a standstill," Hopkins said.
He said he hoped that by bringing the man's story to the public, someone with information may be able to step forward and offer help. They believe the man died of natural causes, based on an autopsy.
Anyone with information is asked to call Hopkins directly at 765-848-1539.