The Orange County Sheriff’s Department used reconstruction technology to recreate what the 14- to 25-year-old found in Trabuco Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains in 1996 might have looked like at the time of his death.
Authorities believe the body had been there for around two years when it was found. The victim's cause of death was unclear.
The sheriff’s department worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in making the image.
A computed tomography scan was created of the victim’s skull and sent to the NCMEC who created the image, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Over the years, there have been occasional leads to who he might be, yet he has not gotten his name back,” Kelly Keyes, Orange County's supervising deputy coroner, said. “As with all of our unidentified cases, which date back to the 1950s and includes nearly 100 cases, we continue to review these cases with the hope that John Doe will finally get a name.”
His teeth were submitted to a Department of Justice database but they were in poor condition and unable to be matched.
Keyes told KCAL-TV of Los Angeles the unidentified victim was her first cold case.
“This is someone’s child,” she said. “If we can find out who he is and give him his name back and give somebody their son back, I think that’s pretty big for that one family.”
“This is the first time in more than two decades that we have been able to put a face to this John Doe, and now we’re looking to match that face to a name so we can bring closure to the family,” she added, according to the Times.