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Norwalk Police Work To Solve 20-Year-Old Death Case

Norwalk police are trying to identify a body that was found 20 years ago on Shea Island. Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department/Facebook
Norwalk police are working to solve the case of a man who was found dead on Shea Island by a couple camping in April 1996. Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department/Facebook

NORWALK, Conn. -- Twenty years ago next month, the Norwalk Police Dispatch Center received a call reporting that a dead person had been discovered on Shea Island.

The husband and wife who found the body were camping on Shea Island when they made the discovery. The Norwalk Police Marine Unit ferried detectives to the island to investigate.

The remains were badly decomposed, with no clothing attached. Because of the decomposition, facial identification was impossible. The body was removed from Shea Island and transported to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.

The unidentified man was described as a white, 5 feet 1 inch tall and 20-30 years old. No dental charting could be completed since several front teeth were missing.

In an attempt to make an identification through fingerprints, nine fingers were removed at the middle knuckle and placed in separate jars.

Only two of the nine fingers exhibited enough ridge detail for identification. The two prints were sent to the Latent Print Section of the state forensic laboratory in April 1996. A search of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System database did not find a match.

The prints were also sent to the FBI's Latent Print Section and the Rockland County, N.Y., Sheriff’s Office in 1996 for searches through their systems without any matches. In September 2014, a request was made to the FBI to have the prints searched through the new Next Generation Identification database, and again no identification was made.

Evidence that had been collected during the original autopsy will be examined by the DNA Section of state forensic lab in an effort to develop a DNA profile from hairs or bone. If that succeeds, the profile will be uploaded into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System and the National DNA Index in an effort to make a match with a reported missing person in which family members submitted DNA samples.

Anybody with information should contact Lt. Art Weisgerber at 203-854-3028 or .

Anonymous tips can be sent through the Norwalk police website at .

Anonymous text tips can be submitted by typing “NPD” into the text field, followed by the message and sending it to CRIMES (274637) .

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