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UNSOLVED with Homa Bash: The search to identify the remains of 103 people found in Ohio

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Posted at 9:34 AM, May 19, 2018
and last updated 2021-12-14 15:38:06-05

For nearly 30 years a man’s skull has sat in a box inside an Ohio coroner's office. The skull belongs to one of 103 unidentified individuals whose remains have been found across the state. Authorities are still working to find out his identity and the identities of rest of the remains.

UPDATE: Remains found in 1982 identified as guitarist for R&B group The O’Jays

Decades later, Twinsburg police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are still working to give that man his name and identity back — and give his family the closure they deserve.

The skull and bones were found scattered off Cannon Road in Twinsburg in 1982. To this day, it is the only unsolved homicide in the city’s history.

Using his skull, BCI’s facial reconstruction specialist Samantha Molnar has created a clay mold of what his face may have looked like when he was alive — with the hope that someone recognizes him. 

“I don’t think anyone deserves to lose their name forever,” Molnar said. 

Det. Sgt. Craig Bremner said the first autopsy report said a shotgun blast had killed the man and that his body had been dismembered with an axe. 

“In 2009, they took another look at it and that coroner’s report believed it was a stabbing,” Det. Bremner said. They also believed the body had been burned, the bones showing signs of charring." 

Recently, DNA was able to be extracted from a tooth, but Bremner said it will be roughly a year before it is fully entered into BCI’s system. 

There are 103 unidentified remains in Ohio. That means 103 people without names or identities.

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, more than half of them were discovered in Northeast Ohio. 

BCI keeps a separate DNA database for families called Ohio LINK (Linking Individuals Not Known), so if you have a loved one that is missing, you can send a sample to their headquarters to be entered in. 

If there is ever a match to unidentified remains that have been found, you will be notified.  

For information on Ohio LINK or to submit a DNA sample, call BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).

This case is the latest in our Unsolvedseries.