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Unidentified Person

1978 Pierce County John Doe

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  • Last updated: March 14, 2023
  • Ashford, WA
  • March 25, 1978

Overview of 1978 Pierce County John Doe

Two women picking mushrooms in a remote wooded area near Elbe in the vicinity of 265th Avenue East and National Park Highway discovered a mandible, leg bone, hair and braid of hair, pelvic bones, vertebrae, arm, hand bones, clavicle bone, ribs, tibia, and teeth on March 25, 1978. The remains were stored in a cardboard box in the sheriff's property room until 1985, when it was removed and taken to the Tacoma dump.

The skull and a portion of an indeterminate long bone were located ten years later on 9/19/1988, approximately 50 yards from the initial discovery.

In 2005, the two discoveries were paired by circumstance. Dentals from the mandible were compared to those of several missing persons with no matches.

New information has lead Law Enforcement to believe he was from Arizona with a first name of "Willie" or "William."

Estimated Date of Death: Up to 16 months prior State of Remains: Not recognizable - Partial skeletal parts only Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to the head

Dentals: Available. Fingerprints: Not available. DNA: Sample available - Not yet submitted.

Clothing: Unknown Jewelry: A ring made of two braided strands of metal was discovered near the area. Additional Personal Items: Unknown

The Doe Network Case Number: 1840UMWA


  1. Date Found:March 25, 1978
  2. NAMUS Number:5698
  3. Race:Caucasian / White
  4. Gender:Male
  5. Height:5'10" to 6'0"
  6. Weight:Unknown
  7. Hair Color:Brown
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