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UNIDENTIFIED

Man dragged by train remains a mystery

Posted on March 28, 2022

UnidentifiedLocal news
This autopsy photo shows an unidentified man who was dragged to death by a train in Raleigh more than a quarter-century ago.

Contributed photo

This autopsy photo shows an unidentified man who was dragged to death by a train in Raleigh more than a quarter-century ago.

 

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

RALEIGH — Authorities haven’t been able to identify a man dragged to his death by a train 26 years ago.

On March 25, 1996, a passerby spotted a Hispanic man’s body lying face-down below the railroad trestle near North Street and the Pine State Dairy Plant in Raleigh.

Investigators believe the man may have been trying to get on or off the 1700 train the night before when his clothing became entangled, and the train dragged him to his death.

Two men in Raleigh at the time recognized the dead man from his photo. They told police he frequented the West Street area and the overflow shelter on South Wilmington Street, according to The News & Observer’s March 27, 1996, edition.

Authorities found a fake identification card in his pocket.

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 a flannel shirt, black jeans, black sweats and a black cap with the initials G.R. He had 58 cents in his pocket, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Person System, which has assigned the unknown man case number 2795.

The man had been dead for about a day prior to being found. Medical examiners place his age at 25 to 35. He stood 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed 147 pounds. The man had black hair with a mustache and beard. His eyes were brown.

The man had a scar on his lower chest and a half-inch-long scar on the inner thigh on his right leg.

A postmortem dental examination shows the man had a bridge from tooth No. 6 to tooth No. 10. Fingerprints are available, but DNA is not because samples were not retained, according to information from the Doe Network, a volunteer-run international clearinghouse for unidentified and missing persons.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3335 or policeinfo@raleighnc.gov.

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