Hermantown police seek help to solve 36-year mysteryThe date was April 16, 1976. Hermantown police were called to an address in the 3900 block of Lavaque Road to investigate the discovery of a dead human body.
The date was April 16, 1976.
Hermantown police were called to an address in the 3900 block of Lavaque Road to investigate the discovery of a dead human body.
When officers arrived, they found the skeletal remains of an individual whose identity remains a mystery partially unearthed in the backyard of someone’s home. After exhaustive efforts, investigators still didn’t know who the person was or what caused the death. The death was believed to have happened between 1961 and 1972.
Now, the Hermantown Police Department hopes DNA analysis and further investigative resources can lift the mystery revealed in 1976. The police department is working with the Minnesota Bureau of Investigation, St. Louis County sheriff’s department and medical examiner and Hamline University forensic personnel to reopen the case and identify the individual to lay the person to rest.
And the public’s help is being sought.
What thee department does know from that long-ago investigation is the deceased is believed to be a white male ranging in age from 30-50 at the time of his death. The man was believed to be between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-11, with advanced osteoarthritis and a developmental defect that suggested he walked with a limp, favoring his right side, which may be attributable to a childhood disease. He wore a full set of dentures with an upper plate made with porcelain teeth and lower plate with plastic teeth.
Clothing remnants found on or near the body included leather work boots, wool trousers, long underwear, suspenders, knee-high wool socks, leather choppers with green liners and possibly a sweater, plus Mackinaw and Blizzard Railroad style hats. Also found near the body was a lighter with the initials A.T.C. and LUX Japan on the base. He also had several coins, the most recent of which was minted in 1961.
DNA was recently extracted from the remains are and a match could be possible if a living relative can be found for comparison.
Anyone who knows of a missing person or relative is encouraged to call Chief Deputy Shawn Padden of the Hermantown Police Department at (218) 729-1200.