Marshall County John Doe identified as a 20-year-old California man

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – 26 years after a Marshall County teenager came across a decomposing body on Eagle Rock Drive in Union Grove, authorities say they can finally give John Doe his name back.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office identified those remains as 20-year-old Jeffrey Douglas Kimzey of Santa Barbara, California.

April 15, 1997 marked the beginning of a mystery that no one could have predicted would take this long to solve, but the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office now says it has answers to some of the questions.

Chief investigator Keith Wilson said the head and hands were cut with “some type of saw”, while the feet were eaten away by animals. The heart and spleen had been removed with surgical-like skill, leading investigators to believe they may have evidence.

“Someone went to great lengths to hide our victim’s identity and cause of death,” Wilson said.

They described the body as “moderately decomposed” and believe he was stabbed or shot in a separate location before being dumped near the Marshall/Morgan county line where his remains were discovered.

“The victim’s feet were tied with rope, then around the scene they found more pieces of rope,” Wilson said.

Investigators initially believed he was between 20 and 30 years old, about 5’9 tall, weighed about 150 pounds, and possibly a “strawberry blonde”. They added that he was wearing a faded glory short-sleeved sweater with blue, green and gray vertical stripes, and 32×30 Levi Strauss John 501.

A handful of air fresheners were also found near the body.

In 2021, authorities released an image of what they believed the victim looked like, including that he may have been fair-skinned with blue eyes, dark blonde or light brown hair, and likely had tan spots. freckles.

Marshall County authorities released this snapshot DNA analysis image of a murder victim found in 1997

This photo rendering was made possible by Parabon Nanolabs, which also began using more of its resources to find genealogical matches with the victim. Wilson said there have been distant relative relationships in southern Alabama, Virginia and Texas.

In August 2022, investigators spoke to Parabon Labs who said they had a “close match” with a relative who lived in Madison, Tennessee. This sent authorities north to speak with that relative, who said Kimzey’s birth parents were in California.

DNA from both parents was tested, which ultimately led to the positive identification of Jefferey Kimzey as the remains.

Investigators also spoke with Det. Alegria of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, who told them that Kimzy found an incident report filed on May 8, 1997, listing Kimzey as a possible offender in the case.

Marshall County John Doe identified as a 20-year-old California man
Kimzey Yearbook Photos

Wilson said the public was informed that just days before the body was found, witnesses saw a brown ’90s model Chevrolet truck with tinted windows that was in the area. Witnesses also said the man was “acting nervously”.

A white male was seen driving the truck, but despite releasing a composite sketch, there were no suspects in the case.

Marshall County John Doe identified as a 20-year-old California man
Composite sketch of the man witnesses saw in the area when the remains were discovered. (Photo WHNT)

Authorities said there were ‘many investigators who have worked on this case over many years’, adding: ‘I know they would like to see this case solved, but having positive identification will help us get closer. of the resolution of this case. .”

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office thanked all investigators, Parabon Labs, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and “everyone involved.”


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button