Friday, January 12, 2018

Unidentifed John Doe in Suspected Serial Killer Case- Brooklyn, NY

By Dark Sleuth 

This post is an update on the recent developments in the Rashawn Brazell case, previously covered in these posts: 

DNA Snapshot composite of unidentified John Doe
(Source: NCMEC)

The gruesome 2005 murder of  Rashwan Brazell went unsolved for 12 years before police finally made an arrest in February 2017. Authorities believe that the suspect, Kwauhuru Govan, could possibly be a serial killer.

At the time, Kwauhuru Govan was already in custody.  He was indicted in November 2016 for the 2004 murder of 17 year-old Sharabia ThomasDNA found under the victim's fingernails matched Govan.    

Both victims lived within blocks of Govan's residence in Brooklyn, New York.  Brazell and Govan were neighbors. They lived across the street from each other on Gates Avenue, in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.  

Now police are investigating whether Govan may be responsible for a third victim, an unidentified John Doe, whose remains were found just five months after Rashawn Brazell was killed.   

There are several similarities in the cases.  Most notably, both the remains of Rashawn Brazell and the unidentified John Doe were dismembered.  Part of their remains were found in waste transfer stations.  The close proximity of locations in all three cases also suggests a possible connection. 

Unidentified John Doe

Authorities determined that John Doe's torso had been "deposited in a dumpster located at 128 Gates Ave" before the contents of the dumpster were transferred to the waste transfer station.  Gates Avenue, of course, is where both Govan and Rashawn Brazell lived.  

John Doe's partial skull was recovered a few days later on July 30, 2005 from a community garden in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.    

According to police, John Doe was difficult to identify because, “His hands were cut off. His teeth were removed."

For years, authorities thought that John Doe might be Hispanic, but in 2017, DNA phenotyping determined that he was Black. A DNA Snapshot facial composite was created. 

Physical Characteristics:
Estimated Age: 17-25
Race: Black
Estimated Height: 5' 5" to 5' 9" 
Dentals: Not available. No teeth recovered from cranium and the victim's lower jaw was never found.

In October 2017,  Lt. David Nilsen of the NYPD told Crime Watch Daily that they are investigating Govan in relation to other homicides in Brooklyn. Govan also has ties to California and Florida where he may be responsible for other crimes.  

If you have any information on this case please contact:

NYPD Crime Stoppers:
Tel: 1-800-577-TIPS (8477)

Case Profiles:
NamUs, Profile UP #5628:

The Doe Network, Profile #942UMNY:

NCMEC, Profile # 118431:

Sources of Information:

PIX11, "NYPD’s reconstructed ‘face’ could be 3rd victim of suspected serial killer," by Mary Murphy, September 7, 2017:

New York Times, "The John Doe of the Brooklyn Badlands," by Emily Voigt, February 18, 2007:

PIX11, "Exclusive: Rashawn Brazell’s mom talks about neighbor accused of butchering her son — and targeting other teens," by Mary Murphy, May 23, 2017:

New York Daily News, "EXCLUSIVE: Suspect in 2005 Brooklyn beheading claims innocence by yelling 'I can't even dissect a frog' in court," February 22, 2017:

Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, "Third Body Might Be Connected to Brooklyn Serial Killer," October 25, 2017:


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