In 1998, a human skull was discovered by a truck driver walking through a remote wooded area behind a truck stop just off Interstate 55/State Route 53 in Bolingbrook, a southwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The 100-acre field was thoroughly searched by investigators and they found approximately half of a human skeleton. Several articles of clothing and accessories were found among skeletal remains, including a pair of 9-9.5 Nike Air Force Max shoes, an extra-large light blue nylon Starter jacket, blue jeans, and a 32” Levi Silver Tab belt. Additionally, a Motorola pager, purchased on the South Side of Chicago, was found near the body.
Investigators determined the remains likely belonged to an African American male who died of a single gunshot wound to the head, with evidence indicating possible foul play. It was determined that the man died one to five years prior to the discovery of his remains; investigators believe that he most likely did not die prior to April 25, 1993. The man was estimated to have been between 18 to 24 years of age at the time of his death. He was 5’ 5” to 5’ 11” tall and weighed 160 to 175 lbs, had black hair, and a pronounced overbite. There was evidence of a healed fracture to the man's left foot.
In 2009, the details of this case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP5207. A forensic sketch was created to depict what the man may looked like during his life. Despite the available evidence and diligent work of investigators, the case eventually went cold.
In 2023, the Will County Coroner’s Office partnered with Othram in hopes that advanced DNA testing will help to identify the man who has been unnamed for over two decades. Anyone with information that could be useful is encouraged to contact the Will County Coroner’s Office by calling 815-727-8455 and referencing case number 160-98 or NamUs #UP5207.
A DNASolves crowdfund has been established to cover the casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.