On November 24th, 1978 the unidentified skeletal remains of a white male were discover among some freshly planted pines at a rest area westbound of Interstate 10 at the Suwannee/Columbia County line in Florida. Because the police report is currently not available, there is no information as to who found the skeleton or who the immediate investigator was.
There was no clothing recovered, although there were some features of the remains, such as a healed broken nose that may have bent to the left; Healed broken left foot; and Severe arthritis in the left hip (possibly traumatic). According to dental records, he had an overbite; Amalgam fillings on tooth #3, 4, 12, 13, 14, 18 & 31; Porcelain filling on tooth #8; Class 2-3 periodontal disease in all teeth present; and atrophy of the lower jaw in the molar area.
Some of the limbs and hands were not recovered. A piece of denim was also found along with the skeleton.
In the late 1990's, a detective by the name of Robert Johnson was assigned to the case. He had discovered the bones of the John Doe in an evidence locker at the Columbia County Sheriffs Office.
With the discovery, he was able to bring to life the story of 'Forrest' Doe.
He recruited forensic artist Anne Coy with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office to conduct a facial reconstruction of the skull using clay products. Along with the sketches that were done by the FBI decades earlier, a more accurate look was established. There was also a video made during the reconstruction by Coy; but the whereabouts of the video is unknown.
Johnson retired in 2007, and the case has been passed on to new detectives. In 2019, overseen by the LCJD Task Force Founder, Jason Futch, a new composite was finished by Anthony Redgrave. Redgrave, a volunteer with the DNA Doe Project and a co-founder of the Trans Doe Task Force, agreed to commission a new reconstruction at no cost to the CCSO and the reconstruction was approved by CCSO's Captain Katina Dicks a day later.
With new technological advances in sight, there is hope that this John Doe can be identified.
Our team with the Volunteer Effort is looking forward to the day Forrest Doe is returned home with a name.
THE 1978 LAKE CITY JOHN DOE
-A.K.A. 'FORREST DOE'
ESTIMATED AGE: 35-50 years old
RACE/GENDER: Possibly White Male
ESTIMATED HEIGHT: 5'7"
SYNOPSIS: THIS JOHN DOE WAS FOUND AMONG FRESHLY PLANTED PINES AT A REST AREA IN COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL. THERE WAS NO SOFT TISSUE OR HAIR FOUND. A PANT LEG WAS FOUND NEAR THE BONES, POSSIBLY MADE OF DENIM.
RULE OUTS: (AS OF 10/28/17)
RICKY OLSEN- FLORIDA
ALLAN KAPLAN- FLORIDA
DANIEL GOLDMAN- FLORIDA
KENNETH GAUTIER- FLORIDA
PAUL EGAN- FLORIDA
BOBBY CLYATT- FLORIDA
JOHN BALLINGER- FLORIDA
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION REGARDING THIS CASE IS URGED TO CONTACT THE COLUMBIA COUNTY FLORIDA SHERIFF'S OFFICE AT 386-758-1095
IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH SUBMITTING THE TIP TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, YOU CAN CONTACT US HERE. YOU CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS!
VIDEO: A timelapse of the new facial reconstruction performed by artist Anthony Redgrave.