In November 1983, the skeletal remains of a white male were located in Hartford County, Conneticut. A news article published in The Hartford Courant reported in November 1983 that the man’s remains were discovered near the shore of the Connecticut River in Great Meadows, a salt marsh along the coast of Connecticut. The age of the man was estimated to be between 30 and 60 years at his time of death. Investigators determined that the man had likely been deceased for months. Unfortunately, due to the condition of the remains, the cause of death could not be definitively determined.
Several personal items including three General Motors automobile keys and a Sanyo brand digital watch, with a silver stretch band, were found on or near the man’s remains. Additionally, a tan wool jacket, blue shirt, tan pans, with a waist size of 35 inches, a brown belt, black socks, and black loafer-style shoes were found on the body of the man. Aside from these items, there were no identifying documents or clues that could readily identify the man.
In 2011, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as case number UP8901. Since the discovery of the man’s remains, law enforcement investigators have pursued various leads about his identity, but none have yielded an identity for the man. With all leads exhausted, the case eventually went cold.
In 2023, as part of an ongoing collaboration aimed at solving the backlog of cold cases in Connecticut, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner partnered with Othram to generate new leads in the case using advanced DNA testing. Skeletal remains were sent to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists developed a suitable DNA extract from the forensic evidence and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to generate a comprehensive DNA profile. The profile was used by Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team to produce investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement.
The costs associated with Othram's testing and analysis were generously funded by philanthropist and advocate, Jeanne Ayotte. We are incredibly grateful for the support Jeanne provided in this investigation.
Once investigative leads were returned to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, they worked with the State Police to confirm that the unknown man from 1983 was in fact Francis Patrick Fitzpatrick, born October 21, 1939. Fitzpatrick was originally from Springfield, Massachuttes. He was last seen in March of 1983, but his body was never found until now. His death is not being investigated as a homicide.
Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner by calling 860-679-3980 and referencing agency case M-83-428 or NamUs ID UP8901.