Seeking a spark of recognition
Police hope sculpture leads to victim’s ID
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.
“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.
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...
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...