Police seek help in identifying man found dead

Thursday, March 20, 2008

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.

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  • No mailbox? NO medicine in the cabinet? No drivers license? The long time friend has no idea who his friend is?

    -- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 6:22 AM
  • If you read it says they have made an assumption about who he is by going through his things but LEGALLY one of these three means (appearance, dental records or DNA) must be used and they do not have any of these

    -- Posted by flygal026 on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:48 AM
  • I'm cunfused. This newspaper is giving less info in stories. Nothing makes any since and we are left hanging not knowing who, what, where, when,how or why. More info needs to be gathered to tell us how we can help I.D. this man. There is too many lose ties in all the stories anymore. Hope the cross word puzzle doesn't get messed with next. It's the only good thing left in the Banner.

    -- Posted by mad-mom on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 1:18 PM
  • If they knew who, what, where, when and how; they wouldn't need held identifying the individual don't you think? Now I'm CONFUSED. Give it a second reading.

    -- Posted by TheJoker on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 4:45 PM
  • This story is so silly...Something smell fishy lol So the long time friend really dosnt know him. So he didnt have any bills in his name . What about meds come on Miller

    -- Posted by rhoover1615 on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 7:13 PM
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