When his remains were discovered by a hiker in South Hills Park on New Year’s Eve 2012, all that was left of John Doe #268 was a skull and a few bones. For nearly a month, the bones remained unidentified until the Los Angeles County Coroner finally put a name to the remains.
But after more than two months, John Doe #268 remains at the coroner’s office. His name cannot be released until next of kin is notified, said Craig Harvey, coroner spokesperson. The problem is, no one can seem to find any living person who may have been related to the man.
“We have done multiple data searches looking for any living relative or person who would claim him,” said Harvey. “But each search has yielded nothing.”
On the afternoon of Dec. 31, a hiker discovered what looked like a human skull in a remote area of the park’s hiking trails.
When authorities arrived, they could only salvage a few more skeletonized bones. The rest of the remains may have been carried off by animals in the park, said Harvey.
But what they could make of the remains was that the deceased was a 56-year-old Caucasian male, about 6 feet one.
The remains were found near a transient encampment. Whoever had passed away in that remote area of South Hills Park was a homeless man who died alone of natural causes, determined authorities. It would be a least a year before anyone would find what was left of his body. No foul play was suspected in his death.
Glendora Police say the deceased was a known transient to them. Lt. Brian Summers said they had responded on several occasions to treat the man who suffered from seizures.
“All of the incidents were medical of some kind,” said Summers. “From what I can tell, in my experiences with him, he was always alone.”
Authorities were able to determine that the man’s last known residences were in West Covina. Summers said searches of the deceased’s relatives only yielded the names of his parents and brother who were also deceased.
“It would be great if there’s an aunt or uncle, or a cousin, anyone out there who even cares that this person has died,” said Summers.
Anyone who may have information on this case is encouraged to call the coroner’s notification’s unit at (323) 343-0755.
Unclaimed bodies are eventually buried in a mass grave at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery in Boyle Heights, according to the coroner’s office.