Cops and Courts

‘John Doe’ investigation reignited on 2-year-old human remains case

Nearly a dozen investigators from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations searched a small area off Dug Hill Road, just outside of the Sabraton area of Morgantown, on Thursday. 

According to Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer, the search was part of a “follow-up investigation” on human remains that were found at the site on June 10, 2021. According to Palmer, those remains have yet to be identified and are currently considered belonging to a “John Doe.” 

The skeletal remains were discovered in a field that runs on either side of where Dug Hill Road runs parallel to Interstate 68, Detective John Wilhelm told The Dominion Post at the time they were found.

Those searching the scene Thursday were clearing brush and using metal detectors and other search equipment to look for any additional items they could find that may help identify the remains, the sheriff said, as the department has not received any tips on the case. 

“We don’t know what they are looking for – they are looking for anything,” he said. “The FBI has got some additional equipment now and our guys are down there searching with them,” Palmer said.  

The sheriff was unable to provide any additional information about the current investigation or why they decided to re-search the area at this time. 

It was believed when the remains were discovered that they had been there for a significant amount of time due to the level of decay. The body was sent to the state medical examiner, but an identity could not be determined.   

At the time the body was found, Palmer told The Dominion Post the body was wearing a masculine LA Lakers shirt, black sweatpants, black athletic shoes with white stripes on top and red soles. There were also two dreadlocks found next to the body. 

Anyone with information that may help in the investigation and/or identification of the individual should contact the sheriff’s department at 304-291-7218.