December 20, 2005 The Santa Clara County Coroner is responsible for determining the identification of the unidentified deceased. Unfortunately 2% of the unidentified cases annually cannot be identified using standard investigative resources. These cases require a more modern artistic approach to assist in the positive identification, Forensic Reconstruction.
On December 12, 2002 at approximately 10:30 A.M. a hiker discovered a partial human skeleton at the Grant Ranch Park in the Mt. Hamilton area of unincorporated San Jose. The examination of the remains revealed that they are those of a Caucasian male, aged 35-60 years with a living height of approximately 5’11”. Time of death is estimated to be in the late 1990’s and the cause and manner of death are undetermined.
DNA and additional forensic evidence were submitted to the California Department of Justice and potential leads from throughout the Country were investigated for approximately 2 years with negative results.
On May 27, 2005 The Santa Clara County Coroner, now under the administration of Sheriff Laurie Smith, decided to take this case to the final investigative level, Forensic Reconstruction. A partnership was established between the Santa Clara County Coroner and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office provided the expertise of Forensic Reconstruction Artist and District Attorney Investigator, Kevin Richlin. In addition to his artistic expertise, Richlin was able to provide investigative insight to supplement this case.
Richlin has spent the last 7 months forensically reconstructing the skull of the John Doe. During this process the expert opinions of Dr. Lorna Pierce, Dr. Leon Pappanastas and colleagues in the field of Forensic Reconstruction were vital in determining what this John Doe may have looked like when alive.
Thanks to the partnership of these two county agencies the “Grant Park John Doe” now has a face. The 3-D reconstruction, photographs of the personal property, and printable flyer can be viewed at the Santa Clara County Coroner website under the Unidentified Bodies link. (www.sccgov.org/sites/coroner
If anyone has any information that may assist the Coroner in identifying this John Doe, please contact the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office at (408) 793-1900. ###