BY DARK SLEUTH
UPDATE: On February 21, 2019, DNA Doe Project announced that they had tentatively identified John "Clinton" Doe. It took the nonprofit specializing in forensic genealogy a few months to make the identification after taking on the case in September 2018.
Photo from DNA Doe Project's Facebook announcement
At about 9 a.m. on November 26, 1995, hunters came upon a set of skeletal remains in a heavily wooded area along Turtle Creek near Clinton, Wisconsin.
Authorities determined that the remains were that of a white male, 17-20 years old, about 5'6" in height and weighing approximately 140 lbs. His hair was brown and straight, at about collar length. His eye color could not be determined. His cause of death was also not determined. He had died in the fall or winter of 1994, about a year before his remains were found.
Items found with John "Clinton" Doe and his clothing may help identify him. He wore a black and gold "Venom" band t-shirt with the band's first album cover ("Welcome to Hell" featuring a ram's head in a pentagram.) He also had a handcrafted pendant made from a metal fork and shaped like a "goat's head." He wore a plaid jacket, camouflage pants, Nike Air Bound basketball shoes and an Aquatech watch.
John "Clinton" Doe's clothing and pendant.
The Smithsonian determined that John "Clinton" Doe had lived in Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota.
In some ways, the story of the search to identify John "Clinton" Doe has also become a story of determination and dedication by the lead searcher, Jack Friess. Friess had volunteered with the Rock County Coroner's Office on the case for more than a year when he received a notice in April 2015 that his services were no longer needed by the new medical examiner's office. He proceeded to create a private, nonprofit, investigative agency named New Look Investigations.
In February 2016 he discussed with WMTV NBC 15 about a new composite featuring a younger version of John "Clinton" Doe, in his teens. A new theory is that the unidentified young man may have lived in a foster home and aged out of the system. If that were the case, it is possible that a missing person's report was never filed.
It is important to note that there is a possibility that this John Doe is also the same person dubbed, "River Guy." Early in the investigation, eyewitnesses came forward to state that a young, intoxicated man was seen along the Turtle Creek, near where the remains were found, in October of 1994. "River Guy" has not been identified. He was heard yelling at bystanders and saying that a woman named, "Mary" had either left him or upset him. More on "River Guy" can be found at http://findjcd.org/
If you have any information on this case please contact:
Rock County Medical Examiner’s Department: (608) 757-5908
Rock County Sheriff's Office (RCSO): (608) 757-7927
Janesville Area Crime Stoppers: (608) 756-3636
* You can remain anonymous *
Find JCD Project: (715) 498-1632
For updates on the case visit:
To Read more on water isotopes visit:
Case File Info:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
Case # 1234507
NamUs UP # 4757
Doe Network Case # 1207UMWI
Sources of Information:
Find John "Clinton" Doe site:
Find John "Clinton" Doe Facebook:
NamUs UP Case File #4757:
The Doe Network, case file # 1207UMWI:
Gazette Xtra article, "Despite notice, volunteer says he'll continue investigation into unidentified Rock County body" by Frank Schultz, April 20, 2015:
Gazette Xtra article, "New image provides hope to solve 20-year-old Rock County cold case," by Shelly Birkelo, February 14, 2016:
Channel 3000, WISC TV article, "Testing gives clues in John Doe case," July 11, 2014:
Smithsonian Insider article, "Wisconsin Police Narrow Search in 20 Year Mystery," by Micaela Jemison, July 23, 2014:
WMTV NBC 15, "New Hope in Rock County cold case" February 19, 2016: