Alabama authorities hope new image of 1997 cold-case victim can lead to identity


MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Someone found a body on Eagle Rock Road in April 15, 1997. The Marshall County Sheriff’s office says the body was mutilated and they were never able to identify the victim.

Now, authorities hope a new image may lead to a positive identification.

Marshall County Authorities released this Snapshot DNA Analysis image of a murder victim found in 1997

Investigators say the hands, head and heart were cut of and out of the victim. They called the body “moderately decomposed,” and they believe the male victim was either stabbed or shot, then dumped in the location near the Marshall/Morgan County line.

They believe someone went through a lot of work to conceal the person’s identity.

Investigators also noted that there was no one reported missing in the area around the time the body was found.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office partnered with a company named Parabon that uses the victim’s DNA to predict the person’s appearance. The company’s website says scientists use the DNA to identify someone’s physical characteristics which leads to an approximate image of the person.

While they believe this is a close representation of what the victim looked like, they say the man may have had a different hair style or facial hair. He may have also looked different because of “environmental factors,” like smoking or diet, meaning his weight could have been different than what’s portrayed in the rendering.

The DNA report says the man was likely light skinned with blue eyes. He likely had dark blond or light brown hair and likely had some freckles.

Anyone who thinks they may have known a man who resembled the developed image in the mid-90s should call the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office. The tip line for this case is 256-571-7851. Or you can call the main line at 256-582-2034.

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