|· Portal||Help Search Members Calendar|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
| Welcome to PorchlightUSA. We hope you enjoy your visit.|
You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.
Join our community!
If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:
Posted: Jul 22 2007, 03:37 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 3-July 06
Case Number Sex Ethnic Group Ht Wt Eyes Hair Age
1978-06979 M White 5'7" 130 Hazel Brown 15+
Tattoos: He had a stamped imprint of "paid" on the back of his right hand.
Jewelry: No jewelry CLOTHING DESCRIPTION: Blue t-shirt size 42-44, Blue Levi's, brown leather belt, blue shoes, "redwings" blue socks.
Comments: On 6/3/1978 at 0415 hours the decedent was found lying face down on the street at Division St., One/half block East of Corona St. in Long Beach, CA. Pronounced dead at the scene,appears to have been dumped at this location. Age range of 15-19 years of age.
Posted: Jan 17 2008, 01:43 AM
Member No.: 16
Joined: 13-July 06
Posted: Apr 9 2010, 09:19 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Los Angeles Coroner
Investigator Daniel Machian
You may remain anonymous when submitting information.
Agency Case Number:
Posted: Jun 4 2012, 12:45 AM
Member No.: 683
Joined: 1-November 08
Cold cases: When even the victims are a mystery
By Tracy Manzer, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/02/2012 06:41:42 PM PDT
Updated: 06/03/2012 11:56:00 AM PDT
Editor's note: This is the second and final part in a series on the Long Beach Police Department's Cold Case Unit, which is closing after its funding ran out last month.
LONG BEACH -- Hunting for a cold case killer can be one of the toughest tasks that fall to police.
Even harder, say the three detectives who make up the Long Beach Police Department's Cold Case Unit, are the cases in which even the victims are a mystery, with no name and no family to claim them.
Those, however, are also among the most satisfying cases once solved, said Homicide Detective Bryan McMahon and retired detectives Michael Dugan and Stephen Jones, who came back to work the Cold Case Unit part-time after it was relaunched in 2009.
Take the case of the 18-year- old Marine who was identified this year, nearly 40 years after he was killed and dumped in an East Long Beach condominium complex.
It was just last March, after many months of hard work, that the unit received official confirmation that John Doe No. 155 was actually Pfc. Oral Alfred Stuart Jr., or "Buddy" as his family and friends called him.
Though DNA evidence wasn't available from the case, the victim had a Marine Corps emblem tattooed on his arm. Detectives worked with Navy investigators to identify a missing Marine who was never found and who was near the Long Beach region at the time of the slaying.
Once they had a name, Dugan and Jones then tracked the closest living relative, Carl Stuart, to his home in Phoenix, where detectives there showed the older brother an autopsy photo and Buddy was identified.
Buddy had been declared a Marine Corps deserter in November 1974, a little more than a week after he was murdered.
Making the call to Carl to let him know that Buddy hadn't deserted, but had been killed, was a major highlight for the unit.
Carl said he never believed the military's AWOL designation. Buddy had hitchhiked from his family's home in Des Moines, Iowa, to California to join the Marines.
Even if Buddy had somehow changed his mind about his military service after his graduation from boot camp, he never would have left without saying goodbye to his parents, Carl added.
"He was a mama's boy, there's no way he would have not called her," Carl said, noting both his parents died never knowing what had happened to their son.
"We always knew something had to have happened to him," Carl added. "Now I know he was up there all this time, waiting for mom and dad."
Police said it isn't clear why Buddy wasn't identified, though they note DNA evidence and other investigative tools used today weren't available in 1974. Much of the police department and coroner's case files from that time period are missing, officials said.
The few files that do remain note the victim's Marine Corps tattoo and his close-cropped haircut were possible indicators of military enrollment. Long Beach certainly welcomed many Marines and soldiers in the mid-1970s.
Nonetheless, Buddy was declared AWOL on Nov. 22, 1974, 12 days after his unidentified body was found stripped and laid out in a carport at The Lakes condominium complex in East Long Beach.
Standing next to the spot where his brother's body was dumped, Carl shook his head Thursday.
"It seems cold," he said, as Dugan and Jones explained the site looks today almost exactly it did in 1974.
"Yeah, such a young guy, it's sad," Dugan agreed.
"It's just a carport, but it's significant," Jones added.
Carl decided to make the long drive from his home in Phoenix to Long Beach last week to meet Dugan and Jones after hearing their last day at work was Thursday. Until this month, the Cold Case Unit was funded by federal grants, but now is being shuttered.
"I always planned to come out for the funeral ... but when I heard Mike was leaving and the unit was shutting down, I had to come," Carl said in his raspy voice. "I had to meet the man I spent the last eight or nine months talking to on the phone."
The funeral is to be provided by the military, which has cleared Buddy's record of all desertion charges and now lists him as honorably discharged. The Corps also promised to provide a full honor guard ceremony for the slain Marine, either where his remains are buried at the Los Angeles County graveyard, or anywhere his family would like to have him moved.
Moving the remains, however, is impossible, Carl learned Thursday.
After meeting Dugan and Jones in Long Beach, the construction worker suffering from emphysema got on the road once again, this time to go to the East Los Angeles graveyard where his brother was buried in 1975.
Because Buddy was a John Doe, his remains were cremated and mixed with hundreds, possibly thousands, of other unclaimed county deaths. There is no way to separate co-mingled ashes. Even if it were possible, Carl and his family would have to get the permission of all the families of the other deceased individuals to exhume the common grave, explained C. Garnette, a Los Angeles County Crematory operator.
Carl admitted the revelation was tough to take for a man of few words and even fewer outward emotions. Though he didn't complain, the shock and pain flashed across face.
"I don't think I'll have the plaque put here. It's just a common grave," he said as he gazed down at a small bronze gravestone that read, simply, `1975.' "I think it would be better to have it (at the family cemetery) in Iowa, where our mom and dad are."
Garnette told Carl the county now holds unclaimed and unidentified bodies for four years before placing them in a common grave. According to a county roster, Buddy's date of death was noted as Nov. 10, 1974, and he was buried the following July.
Services are held once a year when the deceased are buried, with a chaplain and other county dignitaries present. Ashes are combined because space is an issue, Garnette said.
"I can only remember one year that the number was under 1,500 remains," he said.
Of the Long Beach Police Department's 921 unresolved homicide cases, 10 involve Jane and John Does like Buddy -- men and women who were killed and, for one reason or another, never identified.
Some of the victims' identities are shrouded by a transient lifestyle, one that leaves little in the way of recent records or ties to society to help find a name. Other unidentified victims involve cases in which the bodies were so decomposed, or destroyed by the method of death, that little remains to identify the person.
Then there are cases like John Doe No. 146 and Jane Does No. 40 and No. 16. All three were people killed at a young age, people who appeared well-kept and cared for, people who -- one would think -- would be missed, the detectives said.
"You have these three individuals where you have to wonder, `Why aren't they identified?"' Dugan said. "One is just a 17-year-old kid, the others are both young women. ... Someone's got to be missing them.
John Doe No. 146 could have still been in high school when he was strangled and his body was dumped in 1978, face down in the street in Belmont Shore. The long-haired teen looks like he is sleeping in the yellowed crime scene photos. Neither his body, found near Corona Avenue and Division Street, nor his clothing showed any signs of living on the streets.
Jane Doe No. 40 looked to be in her 20s or perhaps early 30s when she was strangled in 1974 and her body was found on the beach, on a jetty that used to be located behind the Villa Riviera on Ocean Boulevard.
She was left face down, and remained clothed in her pastel jumpsuit and a furry jacket, her long hair tangled with sand. Though part of the jumpsuit was pulled down, her killer didn't take her small diamond ring.
Jane Doe No. 16 also was found still wearing jewelry; a gold ring with a design of a goddess or mermaid surrounded by small red stones. Her dark curly hair was pulled back with a red hair clip covered in sequins and she wore only a dark fur coat.
Her body was left face up in an alley on the Westside, north of Esther Street.
"It's weird that someone like her, someone who looks like they had a life ... (but) no family comes forward," Dugan said.
The original description given to a Press-Telegram reporter in 1989 listed the victim as African-American. In the crime scene photos, Dugan mused, she looks more Middle Eastern or Indian.
"A lot of the motels in that area are owned by Indian families," he said. "Maybe she was a dowry bride (a woman who was married for her dowry and then killed)."
Of the 10 unidentified Long Beach victims, five have yielded DNA profiles, though no names were found to match the profiles in any database, Jones said.
Before detectives Jones and Dugan's last day on the job Thursday, all five profiles were entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), on the chance that a match might still be found. A relative can be swabbed and have their DNA compared to the DNA of the victims, though only if the relative is male, because an X chromosome must be present to make a match, Jones explained.
Though Jones and Dugan have left the Cold Case Unit, McMahon is continuing his work for now, though he is set to retire in July.
Carl and other family and friends of victims served by the unit, those whose killers were identified and those whose identities were confirmed, say they hope funding can be found to continue with the cold case work.
"It's a terrible thing, not knowing," Carl said. "It's important work. It needs to continue."
John Doe -- 146
Posted: 06/02/2012 01:00:04 PM PDT
Updated: 06/02/2012 01:34:50 PM PDT
A cold case John Doe image from 6/3/1978.
John Doe #146 is believed to be 17 years old. He was strangled and his body was dumped, face down, in the street in Belmont Shore in 1978. His body was found near Corona Avenue and Division Street.