Clay model created to help identify 2013 John Doe

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Police have new details in a York County homicide case that goes back five years. Back then, only skeletal remains were discovered and now police are hoping someone can identify the victim through a clay model that has been created.

Investigators were able to scan the skull that was found to create the clay model and age progression sketches. They said figuring out who the victim was is so important, because without a victim, there is no suspect.

John Doe's remains were found in 2013 by road crews, clearing brush at the intersection of Haviland and Loucks roads. At the time, investigators had many questions: Who was this person? Did they live in the area? And how long had the remains been there?

“Somehwere out there there's a family, a friend, there's someone who is missing a loved one and they want to know what happened to them,” Dave Sunday, York County District Attorney, said.

Investigators now one step closer. The clay model shows what John Doe may have looked like. A forensic artist from Penn State was able to come up with the facial reconstruction from a scanned image of the skull, as well as age progression sketches.

“One of the unique features of this individual is that he has a very a -symmetrical skull due to a trauma that happened on one side, on the left side,” Jenny Kenyon, the forensic artist from Penn State, said. “Because of this we actually wanted to do an age regression that would show what he would've looked like potentially before the trauma because that might be some factor that could allow somebody to understand or recognize him."

Investigators were able to determine the victim was anywhere between 35-45 years old at the time of his death, may have been between 5’5 to 5’8, and was of a Spanish or Caucasian decent. They believe he was muscular, and had a strong jaw line. Isotope testing also determined he had lived in PA for at least the last ten years and he may have been born in the South Eastern part of the U.S.

“You're not going to find a suspect until you find out who your person is, whose the victim,” Lance Krout, officer with the West Manchester Township Police, said. “That's the biggest and the hardest part is right now id getting to this point is finding the victim, who they are, so that we can progress with the next stage of the investigation.

This new information will now be entered into NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems, to hopefully get some new leads.

Because this is an on-going investigation, investigators aren't releasing any details surrounding the manner of death, just that it was a homicide. They said more DNA testing could follow in the future. As for how long those remains could have been there, police estimate anywhere between 3-10 years, but said it could be as long as 18-20 years.

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