Seek­ing a spark of recog­ni­tion

Po­lice hope sculp­ture leads to vic­tim’s ID

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Front Page - By Tara O’Neill

MIL­FORD — No one knew un­til last sum­mer what a man whose skele­tal re­mains were found in 1992 might have looked like.

Then foren­sic artists, work­ing with med­i­cal ex­am­in­ers, put to­gether a sculp­tured like­ness.

Twenty- five years ear­lier, on a swel­ter­ing Aug. 21, 1992, a cou­ple walk­ing on Oronoque Road no­ticed what they thought was a car­pet a bit off the road­way, among the brush, trees and weeds. The road wasn’t com­monly used for foot traf­fic, and re­mains woodsy to­day, pos­si­bly a bit more over­grown than it was in ’ 92.

The cou­ple ap­proached, and re­al­ized the ob­ject was a blan­ket wrapped around some­thing. When they pulled it back, they saw what looked like a pos­si­ble hu­man skull and im­me­di­ately called po­lice.

De­tec­tive Mitchell War­wick has been the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor on the case for about three years. He es­ti­mated three de­tec­tives be­fore him over­saw the cold case, which went cold once all leads at the time were ex­hausted.

“If we can ID ( the vic­tim), we can talk to fam­ily, friends and find out what he was up to at that time in his life.” De­tec­tive Mitchell War­wick

No ID, mea­ger progress

The re­mains were al­most en­tirely de­com­posed — it was es­ti­mated that the man died a month or two be­fore his bones were found. The cause of death was ruled to be two gun­shot wounds to the head.

“With­out an ID, it’s harder to fig­ure out what hap­pened,” War­wick said, sit­ting at a ta­ble in the Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment re­cently with photos and pa­pers de­tail­ing the crime. “If we can ID him, we can talk to fam­ily, friends and find out what he was up to at that time in his life.”

With no one hav­ing come for­ward to iden­tify the re­mains, po­lice have had to work with what lit­tle other ev­i­dence they have. They’re also try­ing to get wider ex­po­sure for images of the foren­sic sculp­ture, hop­ing some­one will fi­nally rec­og­nize it.

Bul­let frag­ments were pulled from the wounds on the man’s head, but those led nowhere. The re­mains

are kept with the med­i­cal ex­am­iner, but all other ev­i­dence in the case re­mains in the po­lice depart­ment’s ev­i­dence room, War­wick said. It will re­main there un­til some­one is taken to trial, he said.

What po­lice know

The vic­tim was found fully clothed. Based on foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion, po­lice be­lieve he was an Asian male be­tween the ages of 18 and 25.

He was es­ti­mated to stand be­tween 5 feet 3 inches tall and 5 feet 6 inches tall. When he was alive, the med­i­cal ex­am­iner es­ti­mated, the man weighed 120 to 140 pounds.

He was found wear­ing size 27- waist pants and a but­ton- down shirt.

“We chased down many leads at the time — even po­ten­tial IDs — and noth­ing came out of it,” War­wick said.

Po­lice searched the data­base for miss­ing per­sons, but no leads came from it. If the vic­tim had fam­ily mem­bers in the area, none came for­ward then — or has since.

Through­out the years, War­wick said, Mil­ford po-

lice have con­nected with other po­lice de­part­ments to see if there had been sim­i­lar crimes nearby. Noth­ing has ever turned up.

Once po­lice had photos of what the vic­tim might have looked like, po­lice could reach out to other de­part­ments for in­for­ma­tion on any­thing sim­i­lar. Images of the foren­sic sculp­ture were first shared with other law en­force­ment agen­cies last sum­mer, War­wick said. But again, Mil­ford po­lice came up empty handed.

Within the last few weeks, War­wick said, Mil­ford po­lice started to cir­cu­late the im­age to the pub­lic, through the me­dia.

Apos­si­ble an­swer

“It’s def­i­nitely pos­si­ble he was an im­mi­grant, and the fam­ily was afraid to come for­ward,” War­wick said. “Or maybe the fam­ily doesn’t trust the po­lice.”

Though DNA ex­tracted from the vic­tim’s re­mains hasn’t hit any matches in the system, it con­stantly runs through a na­tional data­base. If any fam­ily mem­bers are out there and come for­ward, War­wick said, they can sub­mit a sam­ple of their DNA to be tested for a pos­si­ble fa­mil­ial match.

War­wick said the Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment is hop­ing some­one will rec­og­nize the man and give them an­swers they’ve sought for more than two and a half decades.

Any­one with any in­for­ma­tion on the case or who think they rec­og­nize the vic­tim, can call Mil­ford po­lice at 203- 878- 6551.

An oc­ca­sional se­ries that looks at un­solved homi­cides, or cold cases, in Bridge­port, Fairfield and be­yond.

Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment / Con­trib­uted photo

On Aug. 21, 1992, a cou­ple walk­ing on Oronoque Road in Mil­ford stum­bled across the al­most com­pletely skele­tal re­mains of a man. Last sum­mer, foren­sic artists cre­ated a re­con­struc­tion of what they be­lieve the man’s face looked like at the time of his...

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment’s De­tec­tive Mitchell War­wick, who is re­spon­si­ble for two cold cases, at po­lice head­quar­ters in Mil­ford on May 9. The photos in front of Det. War­wick de­pict the re­con­structed face made from the skull. On Aug. 21, 1992, a cou­ple...

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