BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977

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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:44 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 UvxsbEx


The frozen body of the victim was found by two hikers in a cave below an area called The Pinnacle along the Appalachian Trail, in Albany Township, Pennsylvania on January 16, 1977. The cave where he was found is only accessible by foot.

There is little documentation available for this unidentified man. Any photos, autopsy reports, possible fingerprints or dental records have been lost. He was buried in the Berks County Potters Field, however, there are no burial plot records available and his exact location in the cemetery is unknown at this time.

The cause of death was suicide by drug overdose
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:47 pm

https://www.namus.gov/UnidentifiedPersons/Case#/5661/details

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 AtBn8yZ

Unidentified Person / NamUs #UP 5661 Male, White / Caucasian

Date Found January 17, 1977
Location Found Kempton, Pennsylvania
Estimated Age Range 25-35 Years

Case Information

Case Numbers
NCMEC Number--
ME/C Case Number A-10-77

Demographics
Sex Male
Race / EthnicityWhite / Caucasian
Estimated Age Group Adult - Pre 30
Estimated Age Range 25-35 Years
Estimated Year of Death 1977
Estimated PMI--
Height 5' 10"(70 inches) , Measured
Weight 155 lbs, Measured

Circumstances
Type Unidentified Deceased
Date Found January 17, 1977
NamUs Case Created July 28, 2009
Agency QA Reviewed July 29, 2009

Location Found Map
Street Address The pinacle Appalachian Trail Kempton, Pennsylvania 19529
County Berks County
GPS Coordinates--
Circumstances of Recovery Found deceased in a cave near the Pinnacle, a scenic outlook along the Appalachian Trail in Albany Twp Berks County.

Details of Recovery

Inventory of Remains All parts recovered
Condition of Remains Recognizable face
Physical Description
Hair Color Brown
Head Hair Description long curley brown hair
Body Hair Description unknown
Facial Hair Description full beard same type of hair
Left Eye Color Unknown or Missing
Right Eye Color Unknown or Missing
Eye Description unknown

Clothing and Accessories
Category
Description
Clothing
Leather buckskin Jacket, brown pull over sweater, dungarees with a brown leather belt, long underwear, cotton T-shirt, one pair black socks, one pair wool socks.
On the Body
Near the Body

Eyewear
sun glasses
On the Body

Footwear
unknown
On the Body

Jewelry
ring white metal blue oval stone
On the Body

Distinctive Physical Features
No Known Information

Case Contributors

Joel Bonilla, Medicolegal Death Investigator
No Agency Entered

Terri Straka, Medicolegal Death Investigator
Berks County Coroner's Office

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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:48 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 W1nkdLS
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:50 pm

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1299umpa.html

The Doe Network:
Case File 1299UMPA


BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 DEycFEE

Sketch of Victim

Unidentified White Male
The victim was discovered on January 16, 1977 in Albany Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Probable Year of Death: 1977
Cause of Death: Suicide by drug overdose
State of Remains: Recognizable Face
Vital Statistics
Estimated age: 25-35 years old
Approximate Height and Weight: 5'10"-5'11; 155 lbs.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Reddish brown, long and curly hair; blue eyes. Full beard. T-shaped scar on left side of chin.
Clothing: Dark brown suede/buckskin jacket with tassels on the sleeves and torso (size 38); faded blue jeans (Wrangler brand, size 30x34); brown leather belt; brown, knit turtleneck sweater (labeled Jules Pilch-Doylestown/Hatboro, size "M"); long winter undershirt and pants (size "S"), military issue with laundry mark B-0654; two pair of socks (one pair black, the other wool); brown leather hiking boots, ankle length with black Vibran soles (size 10-10 1/2); leather gloves; sunglasses.
Personal Effects: He was wearing a 14K white gold ring with a blue stone; his pockets contained a comb, pen, pencil, matches and $1.78.
Fingerprints: Not Available
Dentals: Not Available

Case History
The frozen body of the victim was found by two hikers in a cave below an area called The Pinnacle along the Appalachian Trail, in Albany Township, Pennsylvania on January 16, 1977. The cave where he was found is only accessible by foot.
There is little documentation available for this unidentified man. Any photos, autopsy reports, possible fingerprints or dental records have been lost. He was buried in the Berks County Potters Field, however, there are no burial plot records available and his exact location in the cemetery is unknown at this time.

Investigators
If you have any information about this case please contact:
Joel Bonilla
Berks County Coroner's Office
610-478-3280
Email
You may remain anonymous when submitting information.

Agency Case Number:
A-10-77
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
Pennsylvania Missing Persons
NamUs

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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:52 pm

Appalachian Trail in Albany Twp., Berks County, Pennsylvania

The Pinnacle, Berks County, Pennsylvania

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 OWly3od
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:54 pm

http://pennsylvaniamissing.com/pinnaclejohndoe11677.html

Pennsylvania Missing Persons
and Unidentified Victims


BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 150_1977_Pinnacle_Cave_-_Reading


Unidentified White Male
Found January 17, 1977 in Albany Township, Berks County

Vital Statistics
Estimated Age: 23 to 28 years old
Height: 5'10" - 5'11"
Weight: 155 lbs
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: reddish brown, long and curly
Facial Hair: full beard
Blood Type: O positive
Distinguishing Marks: a T-shaped scar on left side of chin.
Clothing: Dark brown suede/buckskin jacket with tassles on the sleeves and torso (size 38);
faded blue jeans (Wrangler brand, size 30x34);
brown leather belt;
brown knit turtleneck sweater (labled Jules Pilch-Doylestown/Hatboro, size "M");
long winter undershirt and pants (size "S"), military issue with laundry mark B-0654;
two pair of socks (one pair black, the other wool);
brown leather hiking boots, ankle length with black Vibram soles (size 10-10 1/2);
leather gloves,
sunglasses.

Personal Items: his pockets contained a comb, pen, pencil, matches and $1.78.
Jewelry: He was wearing a 14K white gold ring with a blue stone.
Fingerprints: Available
Dentals: Not Available
DNA: Not Available

Case Details
On Sunday, January 16, 1977 two hikers discovered the frozen body of a man in a cave below an area called The Pinnacle along the Appalachian Trail in Albany Township, Berks County. The cave where he was found is only accessible by foot.

His death was determined to be suicide by drug overdose.

He was buried in the Berks County Potters Field, however, his exact location in the cemetery is unknown at this time.

If you have any information about this case, please contact:

Berks County Coroner's Office
Joel Bonilla
610-478-3280
email

NamUs UP # 5661

Sources
NamUs
Lebanon Daily News - Wednesday, March 2, 1977
NewspaperArchive.com
Sketch completed by Pennsylvania State Police artist
Berks County Coroner's Office
Case submitted by a friend and frequent contributor to this site.
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:56 pm

http://www.readingeagle.com/news/ar...hope-to-attach-names-to-bodies-left-unclaimed

Monday April 14, 2014 12:01 AM
Berks County investigators hope to attach names to bodies left unclaimed
WRITTEN BY STEVEN HENSHAW

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 JTGyEW9

Reading Eagle: Ryan McFadden | Dr. Neil A Hoffman, a semiretired pathologist who still does autopsies for Reading Hospital and has performed many of them in the past on John Does in Berks talks with Ddeputy Coroner Terri Straka in the Reading Hospital morgue.

On a summer evening nearly 17 years ago, Robeson Township Police Chief Mark T. Phillips took a call at home from one of his patrolmen after two fishermen discovered a body floating in the Schuylkill River.

The body was found snagged in some branches June 24, 1997, along the south bank near River Road, opposite an area known by locals as Robeson Crossing.

Due to the condition of the body and its foul odor, it was evident it had been in the river for weeks, Phillips said. The torso was severely decomposed, and the head was just a skull.

A pathologist determined the body was likely that of a black man, 20 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall and more than 200 pounds. No evidence of a homicide or anything suspicious was found.

Efforts by Phillips and the Berks County coroner's office to identify the body through fingerprints were futile, and there were no reports of a missing man matching the description.

The man's bones were stored in the Reading Hospital morgue under the name "John Doe."

To this day, no one has ever called to ask if the body belonged to a missing relative, Phillips said. He figures the man was homeless - perhaps a drifter who came through the area and died along the river and his body floated away when the water rose.



Chief never forgot

Over the years the case fell off the radar of the coroner' office. In fact, the current administration could find no record of the 1997 John Doe when it undertook a review of its John/Jane Doe cases.

That effort started soon after Coroner Dennis J. Hess began his first term in office in 2006. The goal of the review, which continues, is to collect DNA, fingerprints, dental records, and other information useful to police and relatives of the missing, to upload into a national database of the unidentified dead.

But the Robeson case was rarely out of Phillips' sight. The brown accordion file folder hasn't moved from atop Phillips' desk since 1997.

Phillips, who has been chief of the township force for 30 years, said: "It bothers me that there's somebody out there who might have a loved one, that hasn't been in contact with that person for years. It really bothers me we haven't been able to put a name to this person."

The database, dubbed NamUs (Name Us), went online in 2009 and offers a quick way to check with coroners and medical examiners across the country if a missing person might be among the 40,000 sets of unidentified remains at any given time.

With no record on file of the John Doe in Robeson, deputies at the coroner's office didn't know where to look for the remains so a sample could be sent to a lab for DNA testing.

As it turned out, the remains were practically under - or more accurately, over - their noses all these years.

They stumbled upon the remains in the morgue while looking for the bones from another case: an unidentified skeleton found by a farmer plowing a soybean field in Windsor Township, near Lenhartsville, on June 3, 1992.

Those remains, believed to be that of a white female, 40 to 45 years old, have also never been identified. Although no cause of death has been determined, she most likely was the victim of a homicide, investigators have said.

"The reason we were looking for Jane Doe '92 was because Ashtabula Police Department in Ohio contacted state police, and state police contacted us," said Terri L. Straka, one of two deputy coroners assigned to review unidentified body cases.

"They wanted to do a DNA match," she said. "They thought it was a possibility (a missing woman from Ohio) was our Jane Doe from '92. So that's what started the search."

Recent DNA analysis ruled out a link to the Ohio case, but it took a lot of digging to even get to the point where a specimen from the woman could be sent to a lab in Texas.

Unlike the 1997 John Doe, there was a file of the 1992 Jane Doe at the coroner's office. But Straka could find no documentation of what happened to the bones.

"I pulled the record ... and read the file," Straka said. "I read it six times and I said, 'I'm not finding out where the body is. There's no indication of a disposition. We have Jane Doe who was found in the field, and we have no record of where she went.'"

Straka emailed former Coroner William Fatora, who was in office when both sets of remains were found five years apart, but he had no recollection of where the remains ended up. Deputy Coroner Joel Bonilla, who is assigned to work with Straka on the Doe cases, contacted cemeteries to see if the remains were stored in a vault, but no one had any clues.

A few weeks of searching for information led nowhere.

Other case leads to find

A conversation with the pathologist during an unrelated autopsy last year provided the break they needed.

Straka asked Dr. Neil A. Hoffman if he had any idea what happened to the woman. Hoffman had performed the autopsy on Jane Doe in 1992.

Hoffman thought about it for a moment, then mentioned there was an unmarked box in the upper drawer of one of the morgue coolers.

They decided to have a look and found the cardboard box containing a set of bones in brown paper bags labeled by black marker according to body part. There was no indication anywhere to whom those sets of remains belonged.

"We got kind of excited," Hoffman recalled. "I then went to my file of 10,000 or so slides and sure enough, under the number Terri (Straka) gave me I found the slides' from the woman's case.

At the time of the discovery, other items buried in that drawer caught Straka's attention: items marked "coroner" and "John Doe."

"Following that autopsy ... I already knew I'm going to come back later because there are things indicating 'coroner,' " Straka said. "So Joel (Bonilla) and I come back on a separate day to log and see what else we have and we end up finding remains for a John Doe in 1997 for which we have no record at all."

Hoffman said the coroner's office at the time probably asked for the bones to be stored at the morgue while the investigation continued. But years went by and the pathology department was never given further instructions on what to do with them.

"We certainly do store things here," said Hoffman, who is semiretired but still performs autopsies at Reading Hospital. "This is one of the things we do for the county and have done for many, many years."

Hess said it's unknown what happened to the record for the '97 John Doe.

Today, all unidentified remains in Pennsylvania are required to be tested for DNA so the information can be uploaded into NamUS. Since the database didn't exist until a few years ago, older cases have languished.

Hess said the shoddy paperwork and labeling of evidence is reflective of the overall mismanagement of the coroner's office during that era. Fatora, the former coroner, and two of his deputies went to prison for falsifying records to inflate the number of bodies they transported in their personal vehicles in a scheme to collect fees they did not earn. Bodies are no longer transported in personal vehicles.

Straka had to reconstruct the John Doe '97 file for the coroner's office and NamUS.

Luckily, she only had to visit the Robeson Police Department.

"I called Robeson Township and the secretary said Chief Phillips had this file on his desk," Straka said. "I was so impressed with that. I said we need to come down and see what you have because we have nothing."

She sent a sample for DNA testing to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification on March 17. Even if no match is found, she said, the unidentified man's DNA profile will be available to police anywhere, as well as anyone looking for a long-missing relative.
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BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 Empty Re: BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977

Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:57 pm

http://www.readingeagle.com/news/ar...hope-to-attach-names-to-bodies-left-unclaimed

Unidentified victims

Data about these unidentified people whose remains were found in Berks County have been added or are being added to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System:
Jan. 1, 1977: White male, 25-35 years old, long brown curly hair and full beard; found in a cave near the Pinnacle, a scenic overlook along the Appalachian Trail in Kempton; manner of death undetermined.
Aug. 22, 1968: White female, 20-30 years old, 5 feet 3 inches, 125-130 pounds, brown hair with red tint; found near Route 82, Caernarvon Township, not far from the Chester County line; shot five times in chest and abdomen and once in left temple.
April 18, 1969: White female, about 21 years old, 5 feet 1 inch, brown hair; skeletal remains found in French Creek State Park not far from the victim found Aug. 22, 1968; police believe the two deaths are related and occurred at roughly the same time.
July 15, 1988: Mixed race, light-skinned female, 25-32 years old, 4 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 3 inches, dark brown hair; skeletal remains found in shallow grave in French Creek State Park in Union Township; cause of death undetermined but considered suspicious; death not believed to be related to the previous victims.
June 3, 1992: White female, 40-45 years old, 5 feet to 5 feet 3 inches, about 120 pounds, brown hair; skeletal remains found buried in soybean field in Windsor Township near Lenhartsville; cause of death undetermined but considered suspicious.
Feb. 15, 1993: Newborn white boy apparently born hours earlier found in trash container in Old Main at Kutztown University; cause of death undetermined but considered suspicious.
June 24, 1997: Black man, late 20s or early 30s, about 6 feet, more than 200 pounds, size 13 shoe; found floating in the Schuylkill River in Robeson Township; cause of death undetermined but considered suspicious.
Nov. 25, 1997: Black man, 40 to 60 years old, about 5 feet tall, 175 pounds; found in 100 block of South Sixth Street; wearing overcoat with fake black fur collar; black baseball cap with the word "Graystone" on it; cause of death ruled as drug overdose.
Sept. 25, 2000: White or light-skinned Latino female, at least 25 years old, 5 feet 4 inches, about 140 pounds, dyed or bleached blonde hair; found at Ninth and Laurel streets; cause of death undetermined but considered suspicious.
Aug. 21, 2001: Black female, 25-35 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches, 110-130 pounds; found in trash bag along Quarry Road in Caernarvon Township; cause of death undetermined but considered suspicious; death not believed to be related to previous victims found in area.
June 25, 2003: White man, 25-45 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches, 170 pounds, brown or reddish-brown thinning hair, full, close-cropped beard, left ear pierced; found by two people tubing in the Schuylkill River near Fisher Dam Road in Perry Township; cause of death could not be determined.
Sources: Berks County coroner's office and National Missing and Unidentified Persons System



Contact Steven Henshaw: 610-371-5028 or shenshaw@readingeagle.com.

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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:59 pm

http://unidentified.wikia.com/wiki/Berks_County_John_Doe_(1977)

Berks County John Doe (1977)

Berks County John Doe was a male found in a cave after he committed suicide in 1977

Berks County John Doe

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 IPS2jVI

Sex Male
Race White
Location Kempton, Pennsylvania
Found January 16, 1977
Unidentified for 41 years
Postmortem interval Days - weeks
Body condition Recognizable face
Age approximation 25-35
Height approximation 5'10
Weight approximation 155 pounds
Cause of death Overdose (suicide)
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:59 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 Data=WZ2SxkVZ3cNqnSLx6haeE0Kz1PTx1BSE7_TkOM-0My1pDqbSoY5DGqZl2kPSlFu6RmQKsbpHIy98uj1MpjWXAZ9Q0eSr7_suekCCUrrSYTlV895jPMz63MmGMrtst4KtDNCIH8GEpUa5XFAsqr0BbG8PnpkqX9RNTqIJWi4Nx2-RmPjrNHrI31--lxh4e5KIc8sM0HUi

Kempton
Pennsylvania 19529
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:01 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 UqdSvPh

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 Aa7PGO2

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 PgTdkb5
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Post by Akoya on Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:02 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 ArpqDHv
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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:51 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 QWeewyl


After studying the sketch of Berks County John Doe, I have found a possible important clue to identify him. Based on the sketch, John Doe appears to have long hair and a very full beard. However, he doesn't appear to have much of a mustache that would be more than probable stubble. Berks County is home to many Pennsylvania Amish people. The State Police artist has shown that this man is lacking a full mustache. Amish men usually have long hair and full beards, but they do not grow a mustache.


https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/articles/why-amish-men-wear-beards-over-mustaches/

Up until 1916, British soldiers were required to have mustaches. And when the British occupied the United States in the colonial era, they were relentless bullies of the Amish (and other Mennonites in Europe). No self-respecting Amish man wanted to ape the facial hair of his tormentor, and it became a norm in the community to eschew mustaches.

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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:53 pm

These are typical married Amish men who appear similar to the sketch.

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 Rz7xeek

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 ValRcmH

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 QWeewyl
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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:55 pm

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1299umpa.html

The frozen body of the victim was found by two hikers in a cave below an area called The Pinnacle along the Appalachian Trail, in Albany Township, Pennsylvania on January 16, 1977. The cave where he was found is only accessible by foot. There is little documentation available for this unidentified man. Any photos, autopsy reports, possible fingerprints or dental records have been lost. He was buried in the Berks County Potters Field, however, there are no burial plot records available and his exact location in the cemetery is unknown at this time.

The cause of death was suicide by drug overdose


The investigation found that this Amish man committed suicide. During the cold month of January, he went to a cave, only accessible by foot, and took a drug overdose. It is very likely that this man was being shunned or he was "in the bann". Shunning presents a serious social problem for a married Amish man. Close friends, family members, and an ex-member’s parents must participate in shunning. Most excommunicated Amish people are left to fend for themselves. Excommunication and shunning are decided by a vote of the Amish congregation to remove a member who has violated community rules. This is probably the reason why the man in the sketch chose to commit suicide in a cold, Berks County cave. It is probably the reason why members of his congregations did not claim his remains.
Excommunication from Amish society is a brutal process.


BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 EczzeIp
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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:56 pm

I have no doubt the Amish community in Berks County knew exactly who this man was when he was found frozen in the cave. However, the Amish will not identify a man who is "in the bann". This man no longer exists to the Amish community. They will not even speak his name. He may have gone to the Pinnacle cave because he had no other place to go.


BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 QWeewyl
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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:59 pm

The cave at the Pinnacle

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 Pin8
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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:03 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 NlCSm8i

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 BNxomrY
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Post by Akoya on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:04 pm

BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 GwY59Ak
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Post by Akoya on Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:54 pm

The Pinnacle Cave is located in Kempton, Albany Twp.  


BERKS COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 25-35, found in Appalachian Trail cave - 17 January 1977 OuhnAr9
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Post by Scorpio on Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:22 am

https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/42-years-laters-a-renewed-hope-to-identify-body

DNA may help solve the 42-year old mystery of man found frozen in a Berks County cave

Based on dental records, police believe the unidentified man's DNA could match that of one of two persons who went missing in 1975.
Written by Jeff McGaw

The world may soon know the name of a man whose frozen body was discovered 42 years ago by teenage hikers in a cave along the Appalachian Trail in Albany Township.

On Monday, authorities exhumed the body of the unknown man, who was buried in lot 55 of the potter's field along Cedar Top Road in Cumru Township. The body was buried there Jan. 27, 1977, 11 days and one autopsy after the young hikers discovered at the Pinnacle, a well-known vista along the trail.

Based on dental records, police believe the unidentified man's DNA could match that of one of two persons who went missing in 1975.

Paul Gregory Egan of Plantation, Fla., was last seen on July 21, 1975, according to documents filed in Berks County court.

Michale D. Mansfield of Rolling Meadows, Ill., was last seen on Dec. 31, 1975.

Both men were in their early 20s.

According to Berks County Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach, those remains are being sent to the University of North Texas Health Science Center, where DNA testing will determine whether there's a match with Egan or Mansfield.

Relatives of both missing men have contributed DNA samples to aid in the investigation.

The case, dormant for roughly four decades, recently reopened thanks to information kept in a National Institutes of Justice database called the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs.

According to the court filing, information regarding the case was uploaded into the NamUs database in August 2009, some 32 years after the discovery, and eventual burial, of the man.

The NamUs database links law enforcement personnel, coroners and others to nationwide records related to missing and unidentified persons, and searches for potential matches between missing and unidentified cases, according to the filing by Berks County Coroner Dennis J. Hess.
'Not dressed for it'

The body was found Jan. 16, 1977, by two teens from Liberty High School in Bethlehem who hiked through the snow and to the Pinnacle.

Matt Galle, one of those hikers, told the Reading Eagle Friday that he and his friend, Chris Cummings, discovered the body lying on the ground inside a cave near the Pinnacle. Galle said the man was dressed in a light leather jacket, a T-shirt and sneakers, clothes that might have been fine for a hike on a warm day but had no business being worn in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter.

“He was not dressed for it,” said Galle, who lives near Allentown.

In order to exhume the body, Hess had to file information about the case in Berks County Court so that a judge could approve the request.

According to those records, the man found in the cave was about 5 feet, 10 inches, roughly 155 pounds, and somewhere from 20 to 35 years old. The autopsy did not determine when he died, but indicated the body was fairly well preserved.

The dead man's fingerprints were taken, but the original copy of those prints could not be found, and the quality of the copies was too poor to be used for identification.

A forensic odontologist affiliated with NamUs, Dr. Richard Scanlon, examined dental records of the body and the two missing men and found several similarities, but was unable to make a positive identification.

Trooper Dennis Womer of the Pennsylvania State Police cold case unit in Berks County could not be reached for comment.

According to the NamUs website, over 600,000 individuals go missing in the United States every year. Many are quickly found, alive and well, the website states.

“However, tens of thousands of individuals remain missing for more than one year,” and are considered to be cold cases.

“It is estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year,” according to NamUs.

If a match is found, relatives of the deceased may wish to bury them elsewhere, or have them cremated, according to the court filing.

If no DNA match is found, or if one of the families does not claim the body in the event of a match, the remains of the man in the cave will be buried in their original place in the Cumru Township potter's field.

Contact Jeff McGaw: 610-371-5071 or jmcgaw@readingeagle.com.
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