ROANOKE, Va. — A medical examiner’s office in Virginia has released photographs of models showing the approximate facial appearance of a man found dead in Cana last spring in the hopes of identifying him.
The skeletal remains of the man, who authorities have said could be from North Carolina due to the proximity of the site where they were located, were discovered on April 1.
They were found by a man picking up trash in a forested area not far from Surry County while he was clearing a wood line on property in the 300-block of Timber Road.
Carroll County deputies responded to the scene and were assisted by Surry officers in collecting the remains.
In the months that have passed, the person’s identity has remained a mystery. During that time, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke has sought to provide recreations of what the man possibly looked like. A DNA analysis also has occurred.
Forensic anthropologists and artists with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Forensic Anthropology Services and Forensic Imaging Unit constructed the facial approximations of the man, which have just been released. Models not only were prepared regarding the local case, but three other individuals who have been found dead in various western Virginia locations in recent years under mysterious circumstances.
“That’s what we’re hoping for, to get these folks identified,” Tracie Cooper, district administrator of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, said Thursday of the possibly they could be long-lost loved ones.
The photos of the man found in Cana have been circulated to various media outlets. Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner could not be reached for comment Thursday. A spokesman in his office said early Thursday that no tangible tips had been received there so far regarding the man’s possible identity, but officials were hoping that would change as the photos became more widely disseminated.
Forensic testing showed the remains were of a male in his mid-20s to mid 30s-year-old of mixed ethnicity (possibly Hispanic) who was about 5 feet, 7 inches tall.
Anyone with information or questions about the individual is asked call the Western District Office of the Chief Medical Examiner at (540) 561-6615. The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at (276) 728-4146.
The medical examiner’s office in Roanoke presently has 220 sets of remains for unidentified individuals who died in Virginia. Some remains date back to the 1970s.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.