Volusia County John Doe

Volusia County John Doe

Image courtesy Doe Network/International Center for Unidentified & Missing Persons


I am very pleased that I was given permission to post my newest forensic facial reconstruction. It’s the case of a boy who was murdered in 1972 and whose body was dumped in a pond in Daytona Beach, Florida.

This poor kid had mistakenly been thought to be an adult until his remains were exhumed in 2013. That mistake cost investigators decades of lead time. Instead of being in his 20’s, he was determined to be between 11 and 14 years old.

The boy had been stabbed several times by his killer on or around May 3, 1972. His body was found four days later near Indian Lake Road, west of Daytona Beach.

Investigators at the time did what they could. They shipped his fingers to the FBI for fingerprint analysis, but got no joy. They created a sketch, but it was difficult to be accurate considering the state of decomposition.

Efforts were renewed in 2013 to identify the boy. Investigators in Volusia County now have his DNA and his dental records.

Volusia County John Doe

Image courtesy of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created a new facial reconstruction. I’ve included it here.

I was kindly provided with photos of the skull and an autopsy photo by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. I did what I could do to put a face to the boy.

The boy was white, 11 to 14 years old, around 5’2″, 110-120 pounds, with dark brown, wavy hair. His teeth had no fillings at all.

The boy was wearing a red or maroon and white striped short-sleeved knit shirt, a blue denim jacket, purple and gray tweed pants, brown socks and one black loafer with a buckle on the side. That was an odd outfit with mismatched colours. I’m betting the boy wore hand-me-downs.

A black wallet flecked with paint was found in the boy’s pants pocket. Was the wallet a hand-me-down too, I wonder?

It’s horrible to think that a young fellow like that could fall off the face of the earth, with nobody reporting him missing. Was he a habitual runaway? Was he in the foster system? Or did one of his parents murder him? So many questions and no answers.

With no further ado, here is my version of the boy’s face.

Volusia County John Doe

The challenge I had in making this facial reconstruction centred mostly on the fact the front teeth had fallen out after exhumation. To me there is a hint of an underbite, but I can’t know if sure without the front teeth in place. I chose to give my version a slight underbite rather than a noticeable one — if it had been noticeable the ME’s office likely would have made note of it.

Volusia County John DoeWhether or not the boy’s bottom jaw protruded, it was certainly a prominent jaw.

I chose to give the boy brown eyes because of his dark brown hair. That’s just a guess on my part.

If anyone has any idea about who this poor soul was, please contact the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. They will be more than glad to hear from you.

Agency Case Number: NCMEC: 1224409
NCIC Case Number: U950028252

I really hope that somebody will come forward. This boy was brutally murdered and then discarded like trash. He deserves to have a name, and his killer deserves to be unmasked.

I thank the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office for their cooperation in giving me access to photos, and permission to post my facial reconstruction on this site.

Doe Network
Beacon Online News article – exhumation

10 Responses to Volusia County John Doe

  1. 2cute says:

    Well done, Cleo. Your boy looks totally different than the other versions. He looks like such a nice boy, poor kid. I sure hope somebody recognizes him.

  2. moodymagic says:

    Well Cleo you did it again. This poor boy deserves to be recognizes. It is so sad a child was never reported missing then. Keep up the great work Cleo

  3. Bengalpuss says:

    I think that it must be something to do with a family member killing him, surely if not then he would of been reported as missing and it seems this young boy wasn’t. I find it heartbreaking that he hasn’t got a name and hasn’t got family searching. I hope your efforts cleo can finally find someone who can identify this young boy and give him a name and find the evil cunt that took his life so brutily at such a young age. Good job cleo.

  4. Jeni C says:

    I just don’t understand how a child could just be out running and playing one day, then disappear the next, and no one miss him or report him missing. I mean, neighbors and other family members, even his school would realize he was gone after a day or 2. I guess the school thought he may have moved away. This just breaks my heart. It’s as if this boy never existed. I’m guessing along the same lines as Bengalpuss, amd that a family member had something to do with his death…or the famiky would’ve repirted him missing back in 1972. I sure hope someone recognizes him. I hope that there are people still alive who may be able to provide valuable information. Good work, Cleo! Your rendition is 100 times better than the original one! Keep up the amazing work. Someone is bound to know this boy!

  5. Dawn says:

    Such a pretty boy. Every child deserves to be loved and wanted. My heart hurts for him.


  6. Bengalpuss says:

    I think that if a child stops attending school and the school are told that the child has moved to another school in a different state, then the authorities should be notified in that other state and check that the child is indeed in a new school. Also pictures of that said child shoul be taken and shown to the previous teacher to make sure that it is the same child. I also think that home schooling should not be allowed, but thats my personal opinion.

  7. Justin Sanity says:

    Cleo – you are very talented, and what you do is of the greatest value to me personally as well as, I believe, to the whole of our society. I’ve been told that cold case missing children’s photos have all been tested for matches against the NCMEC child sexual abuse images database – but what about reconstructions like this one of yours? That’s my thinking about this case. I’d try looking for matches against materials seized through the FBI’s MIPORN investigations, materials marketed by Star Distributors and Reuben Sturman. There’s some reason for the shaved pubic region…

  8. Bengalpuss. says:

    They don’t have his dna, the sample they got from him in 2013 was too degraded to get a profile.

  9. Olivia says:

    He looks like my father as a child, Indian Lake road is a place I’m familiar with. I drove down international everyday, twice a day to go to school off LPGA. I grew up in this area, There is a lot of shady shit in Daytona. I believe the jail wasn’t on Indian lake road, when he was ditched there because that would be a really ballsy move to dump a body near the police. International has no lights so it’s pretty easy to leave your car to slip into the woods and it isn’t weird to see cars parked on the side of the road there. Though back in the 70’s the National park was a lot more active there. Now its abandoned, and run down. Arliene Warrnos was active on International Speedway as well.

  10. Jess says:

    I read that the boy was found near a lake rather than in one. If I recall this is a tactic used by some killers to confuse media. I was thinking about this yesterday. I was thinking about why on earth a killer would leave a body near a lake and usually without much effort to hide the victim. I found out it is a common disposal of a body by murderers because the details often get confused in media.

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