The Ross County coroner released photos on Friday of a clay sculpture of a skull in hopes of identifying a man whose body was found in the Scioto River in 1975.
A fisherman found a body in the Scioto River, north of Chillicothe, in June 1975, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported.
A man told sheriff's deputies that he was fishing from a boat on the river when he spotted a nude man's body caught on a snag in the middle of the river.
The body, believed to be of a 6-feet-tall white man in his late 30s, was badly decomposed. It was not identified.
The coroner’s office ruled the man’s death to be a drowning.
Mike Ratliff, the chief investigator at the Ross County Coroner's Office, said that there was more to the case.
“He was found nude, and he had a rope tied on both ankles,” Ratliff said.
The body was exhumed from the Londonderry Cemetery in November, after the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System contacted the Ross County Coroner's Office.
Ratliff said that the facial reconstruction gives renewed hope that the man will be identified.
"It's great to finally have a face for our John Doe, but I won't be satisfied until we can get him identified and return him to his family," Ratliff said. "I believe there is a family out there that has been searching for years, I hope and pray that we can end their search soon."
Catyana R. Skory, a forensic artist with the Broward County Sheriff's Office in Florida, worked to create the facial reconstruction by using photos and the actual skull to create the clay sculpture.
According to Ratliff, the man was just under 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed about 148 pounds, had brown hair and brown eyes and was missing his lower front teeth.
The coroner's office is working with the Ross County Sheriff's Office in searching old missing person's cases from Franklin County to the south.
“We realized it’s a very cold case, but we’re hoping someone is still out there that’s searching for him,” Ratliff said.
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