Tulsa County deputies trying to identify man who died in 1988

Posted at 6:13 PM, Feb 24, 2017

TULSA COUNTY -- It's a Tulsa County mystery deputies are desperate to solve.

They're searching for the identity of a man found dead in a creek near Sand Springs in 1988.

The bones were originally found by dogs, who brought them into John Forman's yard on August 16, 1988.

“After that day, it was kind of...out of sight, out of mind,” said Forman.

He's lived his entire life on Bruner Hill.

But he said that day will forever stick in his mind.

“The dogs had brought up some bones up into the garden over here,” he recalled. “You could by just looking at it it was human bone.”

Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies searched the area that day and found the same remains scattered across several other properties.

They found the rest of the body at a nearby creek.

They believe he could've been dead for a several weeks at the time.

But deputies said not all of his remains were recovered because of animal activity.

The remains didn't match any missing person in the area, so TCSO sent the remains to the University of North Texas.

“We've been trying to get answers in this case since 1988,” said TCSO Public Information Officer Casey Roebuck. “They were able to take the skull from the actual body and create a clay sculpture.”

A DNA profile was also created in order to match potential relatives.

Deputies say his family could still be out there, and they deserve closure.

They believe him to be a black male between the ages of 50 and 80.

He wore upper dentures and may have suffered from a shoulder and spinal slump.

“You don't just find things like that. It doesn't just happen. And nothing like that has happened since," said Forman.

It's a renewed hope for identity now in the hands of the public in order to give John Doe and the John that found him much-needed peace.

“We can bring it to the end, we can bring it to a close. And I think that's what families want to be able to do. And if they can do that, that would make me happy,” said Forman.

If you recognize him, you're asked to call the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office at 918-596-5600.

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