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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Cutting-Edge Facial Reconstruction Provides Renewed Hope in Effort to Identify Akron John Doe

(AKRON, Ohio) — Armed with a cutting-edge facial reconstruction of a John Doe whose remains were found in Akron eight years ago, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler today renewed a public call for help in identifying the man.


Under a partnership between the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and The Ohio State University, experts in forensic art and 3D imaging created the photo-realistic renderings in hopes that someone recognizes the man and comes forward with information that could help identify him.


“You’re given a name on your first day, and it should live on after your last day,” Yost said. “Help us do right by this man: If his face looks familiar, please tell us what you know.”

The technology shows what a person may have looked like at different ages and with different features, including eye color, skin tone and hairstyle – a technique that increases the chances of someone recognizing the person.  


“I am hopeful that the variety of digital images created with this new technology will help us to identify this person and allow us to give his family closure regarding his whereabouts,” Dr. Kohler said. “I am grateful to all the people involved in this process for their ongoing support in helping us to resolve this case.”


The digital reconstruction is one of several created recently by BCI and OSU’s Office of Academic Affairs Digital Learning and the university’s Advance Computing Center for the Arts and Design. In this case, the images were based on 3D scans of a clay model sculpted in 2017 by BCI’s forensic artist.


The case dates to Jan. 8, 2016, when a passerby found the man’s skull on a sidewalk outside a burned-out house at 1345 Marcy St. in Akron. Investigators located more of the man’s remains inside the abandoned home.


Burn marks suggest that the remains had been at the address since at least 2012, when a fire damaged the structure. Along with the remains, authorities recovered clothing, a belt, shoes, keys and part of a dental appliance.


The man is believed to have been Caucasian, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and between 30 and 55 years old. His cause of death is unknown, and investigators are unsure how his skull ended up on the sidewalk.  


Anyone with information about the case should contact BCI at 740-845-2406 or the Akron Police Department at 330-375-2490.


An updated public bulletin issued today includes additional information and images.  


You can learn more about digital facial reconstruction here:



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