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UNIDENTIFIED

Who was the man with sad hazel eyes?

Posted on September 19, 2021

Updated on September 20, 2021

Local newsUnidentified
This unidentified man checked into a downtown Raleigh hotel and died in his room in December 1994.

Contributed photo

This unidentified man checked into a downtown Raleigh hotel and died in his room in December 1994.

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.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

RALEIGH — A man with sad hazel eyes checked into a downtown hotel under an assumed name, died in his room and hasn’t been identified in nearly three decades.

When signing the hotel registry, the hazel-eyed man initially wrote “Ca,” then erased the two letters and scribbled in the fictitious name Brian Stillwell.

Authorities believe “Ca” to be the beginning of the hazel-eyed man’s real name. The Stillwell alias he used ultimately led detectives nowhere.

The hazel-eyed man paid in cash Dec. 8, 1994, for a two-day stay at the Holiday Inn on Hillsborough Street. His body was found on Dec. 10, 1994.

Hotel employees don’t remember seeing him after he checked in, and said the only thing really memorable about him was his sad eyes, according to archived news reports.

Police responded to find tape around the inside of the room door, vent, electrical outlets, sliding glass door and windows. The bathroom door was taped from the inside as well, according to information from the Doe Network, a volunteer-run international clearinghouse for unidentified and missing persons.

Police found a propane tank lying on the bathroom floor with a hose leading up to a black plastic bag taped around the hazel-eyed man’s head. His body was in the bathtub, all part of an apparent elaborate suicide.

Police found a wallet containing $142 in cash but no identification of any kind.

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 100 bodies remain unidentified in North Carolina. This is one of their stories.

Medical examiners estimated the hazel-eyed man’s age to be between 55 and 65. He was white, stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed 223 pounds. He had brown and gray hair with partial baldness on the top of his head. He wore prescription glasses.

Medical examiners described the hazel-eyed man as barrel-chested with small scars on his anterior right forearm and an old surgical scar on the lower right abdomen where his appendix had been removed. He was uncircumcised.

The hazel-eyed man wore removable dentures. His fingerprint card is available for comparison at the Raleigh Police Department.

His clothing and personal items included khaki work slacks; a white shirt with fine olive-green stripes and a handkerchief in the breast pocket; and a gold corduroy hat. He wasn’t wearing underclothes.

Investigators didn’t find any abandoned vehicles in the hotel parking lot or surrounding area. Detectives checked with taxi drivers, but no one remembered giving a ride to the hazel-eyed man.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3335. The agency case number is 055310. The case number in the National Missing and Unidentified System is 2788.

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