For Immediate Release
December 3, 2013
Jeffery A. Strelzin, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Chief, Homicide Unit
New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Salem Police Chief Paul T. Donovan, announce that law enforcement is seeking the public's help in connection with an unsolved murder case.
In December of 2012, the Salem New Hampshire Police Department, in conjunction with the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, re-opened an unsolved homicide that took place in 1969. The homicide came to light on August 7, 1969, when a road crew discovered the partially decomposed body of an adult white male in a small pit of water off of I-93 in Salem, New Hampshire.
Further investigation revealed that the adult male victim had been shot four times. It was estimated that the victim was between 28 and 40 years old at the time of his death, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighed approximately 225 pounds. Despite exhaustive efforts, no identification has ever been made of the victim.
In an effort to try to identify the victim, his body was exhumed for a re-examination in 2012. That postmortem examination was conducted by the New Hampshire's Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Jennie V. Duval. In addition, Dr. Marcella H. Sorg, a forensic anthropologist, also conducted an examination of the victim's body.
As a result of the exhumation and the re-examinations, a number of the victim's bones have been sent to the FBI Nuclear DNA Unit in the hopes that DNA can be extracted and then entered into the National Missing Person DNA Database (NMPDD), which assists in the identification of missing persons and unidentified human remains.
The victim's skull was also sent to Forensic Artist, Harvey Pratt of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). Mr. Pratt is considered one of the leading forensic artists in the United States. He has spent over 42 years in law enforcement, completing thousands of drawings based on witness descriptions and hundreds of soft tissue reconstructions. Mr. Pratt's work has assisted in thousands of arrests and hundreds of identifications of unidentified human remains throughout America.
At the request of the Salem Police Department, Harvey Pratt performed a skull reconstruction of the unidentified male victim. That identification was based on the victim's soft tissue depth at various locations of the skull. The tissue depth depends on age, sex, race and body density, all of which was approximated through the forensic anthropology exam that was performed by Dr. Sorg. The finished results are depicted in the pictures shown below.
It is hoped that the release of the victim's facial reconstruction may prompt someone who knew him to come forward. Anyone with information regarding the identity of the unidentified victim or what happened to him, is asked to contact Salem New Hampshire Police Detective Michael White, at (603) 890-2383.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301