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UNIDENTIFIED

Shoes are best clue in skeleton case

Posted on January 17, 2022

Local newsUnidentified
This evidence photo shows the pair of shoes worn by an unidentified man whose skeleton was found in the Chatham County woods in 1981. The shoes are size 9 brown leather designer slip-ons made by Pierre Cardin.

Contributed photo

This evidence photo shows the pair of shoes worn by an unidentified man whose skeleton was found in the Chatham County woods in 1981. The shoes are size 9 brown leather designer slip-ons made by Pierre Cardin.

Unidentified is a weekly series examining the more than 120 cases of unidentified human remains discovered in North Carolina. News Editor Lindell J. Kay produces each installment for The Enterprise of Spring Hope and other Restoration NewsMedia newspapers.

Click here to read previous installments in the series, along with case updates and additional resources, on Kay's Unidentified blog.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

PITTSBORO — A pair of designer shoes and some ragtag clothing are about the only clues left to the identity of a skeleton found in rural Chatham County four decades ago.

An uninvolved witness found a partial skeleton scattered along a rural road several miles north of Pittsboro on Feb. 8, 1981.

The decedent is described as a 6-foot-tall Black man estimated to be 30-40 years old. His hair and eye color weren’t determined.

Washed ashore, unearthed in shallow graves, stumbled upon in the woods, discovered in abandoned houses, killed on busy roads and located in rivers, ponds and along railroad tracks, more than 120 bodies remain unidentified in North Carolina. This is one of their stories.

The man wore brown pants with an inseam of 30 to 31 inches, a narrow brown belt and brown leather jacket.

The only item standing out in the description of his apparel is a pair of size 9 brown leather designer slip-on shoes made by Pierre Cardin.

The man’s case number is 3349 in the National Missing and Unidentified Person System. His profile was created in 2009 and hasn’t been updated since then.

Anyone with information in this case can call the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office at 919-548-3884.

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