New images could help investigators identify John and Jane Does

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-05 17:38:12-04

He was as young as 16, killed in a car accident on I-95 in Emporia. She was found on a Norfolk beach, washed in by the tide after drowning. Others met their end in the Elizabeth River.

As it stands, no one yet knows who they are.

They are the faces of the dead--still waiting to be identified, some, for as long as 30 years.

“We have people who have been in the morgue for a long time now,” said Larry Hill with the Virginia Department of Health. “These are examples, and we would like to reunite them with their families.”

Now, these new computer generated pictures could be the best clue investigators have in uncovering the mystery of who these John and Jane Does once were.

“We don’t know what happened, and hopefully by using these pictures now, someone can help us identify folks and solve these cases,” said Hill.

The department used busts in the past to try to recreate what the dead might have looked like--but with help from the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the images are now better than ever.

“I think this may even be a step higher, because it is so precise,” said Hill. “They are able to try and develop what the person may have looked like at time of their death.”

These new computer generated images already helped to solve a recent death in Newport News.

After the success of that case, the medical examiner's office is hoping for even more good news.

“We just want to clear these up, reunite families and give them closure,” said Hill.

Anyone with any information about the identity of any of these individuals (Cases #2- #8) is asked to call:

-In Norfolk, OCME Investigator Paul Yoakam, 757-683-8366, or

-In the Richmond area, OCME Investigators Bridget Kinnier, 804-786-6056, or Lara Frame-Newell, 804-786-3174.

CASE #2: Richmond

Case2aA white male homicide victim was found May 19, 1981 in the alley at 306 E. Leigh Street. He was approximately 20 to 35 years old, 5’10” tall and 148 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing blue jeans, a plaid shirt, yellow socks and black shoes. NamUs#8578


CASE #3 (2 photographs): Norfolk


A black male who died from drowning was found in the Elizabeth River near Pier 25 at the Norfolk Naval Base on June 10, 1981. He was approximately 18 to 25 years old, 5’7” tall, 164 lbs., with black hair, mustache and beard, and brown eyes. He was wearing a leather jacket, tan shirt, brown corduroy pants, brown shoes and black socks. NamUs #6626

CASE #4: Norfolk

Case4aA black female died from drowning and was found on the beach in the 400 block of West Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk on February 18, 1982. She was approximately 30 to 40 years old, 5’3” tall, 150 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes, burn scars on the backs of her hands and a 6” scar on her abdomen. She was wearing a red-orange sweater, pink sweater, two pairs of jeans and brown suede shoes. NamUs #6627

CASE #5: New Kent County

Case5aA white male was found in the water near a bridge on Route 60 in New Kent County on August 30, 1984. He had been in the water less than 24 hours. He was approximately 59 to 69 years old, 5’10” tall, with hazel eyes, balding reddish-light brown hair, unshaven, toothless and extremely long fingernails and toenails. The individual also had fractures of both bones in his left lower leg, surgical scars from a left hip replacement, a tattoo of a heart and anchor on his left forearm, and was wearing blue jeans, a red, blue and yellow plaid flannel shirt, brown shoes, socks and a Timex Quartz watch with leather band. He also had a wooden walking cane. NamUs #6640

CASE #6: Petersburg

Case6aAn elderly black female died from natural causes and was found on S. Adam Street on November 24, 1992. She was approximately 75 to 80 years old, 5’1” tall, 75 lbs., with gray/black hair and was wearing a pink slip nightgown. She was staying at a house on 37th Street in Petersburg. Her first name is believed to be “Wilma,” but her last name is unknown. She may be from North Carolina. NamUs #2227

CASE #7: Emporia

Case7aA white male teenage Grateful Dead fan died in a vehicle accident on June 26, 1995. He had no identification and the family of the deceased driver did not know him. He was approximately 16 to 21 years old, 5’6” tall and 169 lbs., with a homemade tattoo of a star on his left arm, red hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a “Grateful Dead 30th anniversary 1995” T-shirt. NamUs #6095

CASE #8: Norfolk, Va.


A Hispanic or Asian male died from drowning and was found in the Elizabeth River on March 5, 2003. He was approximately 17 to 25 years old, with black hair, wearing blue jeans, a black shirt and a brown belt with a leather buckle with the outline of a horse. NamUs #2560