OPP use Clay Facial Reconstruction in Hopes of Identification

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have released this clay facial reconstruction in the hope of identifying human remains first recovered in Algonquin Park back in 1980.


At a news conference today, the OPP in partnership with the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and the Office of the Chief Coroner unveiled a three-dimensional model of what is believed to be a young male. Police hope the reconstruction will prompt the public, friends, or co-workers from that time to provide new information to identify the individual and bring resolution to their family and friends.

On April 19, 1980, a hiker using the Hardwood Lookout Trail near Whitney, Ontario located human remains. The hiker had taken a shortcut off the trail and found the remains approximately 77 metres from trail marker number five. A subsequent search of the immediate area located a size 11, Greb-brand boot, a wallet containing no identification, clothing, a black sleeping bag, a camp stove and an aluminum cooking pot. In 1995, another search of the area resulted in more remains being recovered.

Forensic anthropological analysis suggests that the individual was a Caucasian male, aged 18 to 29 years. He had blonde hair varying in length from six to 11 inches, which may have been worn tied back in a ponytail. His belt showed wear at the 32-inch hole. The cause of death is not known. But information recovered from the scene and a stamp found in the wallet led analysts to determine that his death occurred between July 1, 1971 and Spring of 1978.

Commissioner Vince Hawkes was joined at the news conference by Detective Inspector Rob Matthews of the OPP Criminal Investigations Branch, Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Kathy Gruspier of the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and OPP Forensic Artist/Reconstruction Analyst, Provincial Constable Duncan Way.

Anyone with new information on the case can call a dedicated missing persons hotline toll-free at 1-877-934-6363 (1-877-9-FINDME) in Canada only or 1-705-330-4144 from outside Canada. You can also submit information by e-mail at opp.isb.resolve@opp.ca

“Through innovation, technology and the expert work of the OPP Forensic Artist and our partnership with the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, we are hopeful we can identify this person and bring resolution to his loved ones. They deserve to know what happened to him.”- Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Vince Hawkes.


About Ontario Provincial Police & the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB)

The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) investigates major crimes including homicide along with death investigations on behalf of the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario. The Missing Persons Unidentified Remains Unit (MPUB) is dedicated to assisting front line police officers with missing persons and unidentified human remains investigations. A partnership between the OPP MPUB unit, the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) and the Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC) has existed since 2006 and we work together to locate missing persons and give a name to unidentified remains.

One comment

  1. Amazing work. I hope someone finds closure.