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UNIDENTIFIED

Passenger in fatal wreck remains international mystery

Posted on July 5, 2021

Local news
Samantha Steinberg, a forensic artist who works with the Miami-Dade Police Department, helps law enforcement agencies across the U.S. with drawings of unidentified people. She specializes in composite drawings, age progressions and postmortem renderings like the image she created for investigators in the case of an unknown passenger killed in a 2012 Duplin County car wreck.

Contributed photo

Samantha Steinberg, a forensic artist who works with the Miami-Dade Police Department, helps law enforcement agencies across the U.S. with drawings of unidentified people. She specializes in composite drawings, age progressions and postmortem renderings like the image she created for investigators in the case of an unknown passenger killed in a 2012 Duplin County car wreck.

Investigators hope this new forensic artist rendering will help identify an unknown passenger in a fatal 2012 car wreck.

Contributed photo

Investigators hope this new forensic artist rendering will help identify an unknown passenger in a fatal 2012 car wreck.

Samantha Steinberg, a forensic artist who works with the Miami-Dade Police Department, helps law enforcement agencies across the U.S. with drawings of unidentified people. She specializes in composite drawings, age progressions and postmortem renderings like the image she created for investigators in the case of an unknown passenger killed in a 2012 Duplin County car wreck.

Contributed photo

Samantha Steinberg, a forensic artist who works with the Miami-Dade Police Department, helps law enforcement agencies across the U.S. with drawings of unidentified people. She specializes in composite drawings, age progressions and postmortem renderings like the image she created for investigators in the case of an unknown passenger killed in a 2012 Duplin County car wreck.

Investigators hope this new forensic artist rendering will help identify an unknown passenger in a fatal 2012 car wreck.

Contributed photo

Investigators hope this new forensic artist rendering will help identify an unknown passenger in a fatal 2012 car wreck.

Investigators hope this new forensic artist rendering will help identify an unknown passenger in a fatal 2012 car wreck.
Samantha Steinberg, a forensic artist who works with the Miami-Dade Police Department, helps law enforcement agencies across the U.S. with drawings of unidentified people. She specializes in composite drawings, age progressions and postmortem renderings like the image she created for investigators in the case of an unknown passenger killed in a 2012 Duplin County car wreck.

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

Click the hyperlinked text below to read previous installments:

 Dozens of bodies found across NC remain mysteries

 'Baby John Nash' killing remains unsolved

 Drowning victim remains unknown

 Man who stepped in front of train still unknown 

 Body dumped on interstate remains mystery 

 Few clues found in skeleton case 

 Tattoo may hold key clue in unsolved homicide 

 Unknown woman stabbed to death 

 Few clues in unknown homeless man's death 

 A decade after bones found, woman's identity remains mystery 

 Skeleton with shotgun wounds all but forgotten 

Crash victim has been 'John Doe' since 2002 

Dead-end leads leave unknown skeleton case open 

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

WARSAW — Investigators hope a new sketch from a renowned forensic artist will help identify a passenger in a 2012 fatal car wreck.

Mexican native Jorge Isaias Olazaran Garcia visited family in August 2012. He picked up another foreign national in Warsaw just before running a stop sign at East Hill Street and Memorial Drive. Another vehicle T-boned Garcia’s car, killing the unknown passenger and sending Garcia to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, according to archived news reports and police interviews.

“We didn’t even know there was a passenger at first...then I saw his body bunched up in the car,” Sgt. Judy Perez of the Warsaw Police Department told this reporter in 2014.

To help identify the unknown passenger, investigators recently turned to one of the country’s most respected forensic artists: Samantha Steinberg.

“Doing a facial reconstruction or an approximate likeness as to how the person would appear in life is really the last hope for an investigator,” Steinberg told ABC-10 in Miami.

Steinberg’s crimefighting artwork has helped in the identification of numerous unknown victims and the apprehension and conviction of hundreds of criminals.

Steinberg said she brings a victim’s face to life in hopes that someone will see it, recognize it and give it a name.

Authorities released the updated postmortem artist rendering of the unknown passenger in April 2020.

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

Garcia left the hospital against doctor’s orders. He returned to Mexico, family members told investigators. Garcia hadn’t been drinking at the time of the crash. Since he ran the stop sign, police charged him with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. The arrest warrant remains outstanding, making Garcia an international fugitive.

The unknown passenger had two false identification cards and passports. He is described as a Hispanic man between 25 and 35 years old with black hair and brown eyes. He was 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 131 pounds. He wore a dark colored shirt, white pants, boxer underwear, white socks and dark shoes.

“It’s very frustrating that we can’t identify this victim,” Perez previously said. She retired in May 2020.

The unknown passenger’s DNA profile and fingerprints are on file with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. His assigned case number in that database is 10235.

Anyone with information about the unknown passenger can call the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office at 910-296-2150 or the Warsaw Police Department at 910-293-7816.

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