Do you recognize this child? Boy found dead in Saginaw in 1988 still unidentified 34 years later

Police believe unidentified boy may have gone to school in Detroit

Saginaw John Doe 1988. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

SAGINAW, Mich. – A boy found dead in Saginaw 34 years ago still hasn’t been identified, but investigators are using DNA to work to find answers.

Police were called to the reports of an unidentified body being found on Oct. 8, 1988, he had only been dead a few hours when he was found.

He is believed to be 16 to 20 years old. He stood 5′7′' tall and weighed 160 to 170 pounds. He had short, black hair described as a short-fade on the sides with a slightly raised mohawk. There was a thin mustache above his upper lip.

He had several small keloid scars over both knees and right shoulder and some birthmarks on his abdomen. He was found wearing a greenish-yellow short-sleeve shirt, black denim jeans, white low-cut Nike Air sneakers with blue and white laces and two gold chain necklaces.

He is believed to have been from the Detroit area. The photo above is a facial reconstruction created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

According to DNASolves, investigators believe the boy may have attended either Martin Luther King High School or John Cooley High School in Detroit before or during 1988. Other cities have not been ruled out though.

The Saginaw Police Department has partnered with Othram, Inc. to use DNA testing to help identify the boy or find his family.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Saginaw Police Department at 989-759-1235. This case has been completely funded through DNASolves.

DetailsJohn Doe
Date FoundOct. 8, 1988
Location FoundSaginaw
Estimated Age16 - 20
Hair ColorBlack
Eye ColorBrown
Estimated Height5′7′'
Estimated Weight160 lbs to 170 lbs

Read: Michigan cold case coverage

Why is ClickOnDetroit covering so many cold cases?

We’re working to bring attention to as many unsolved and missing persons cases from around the state as we can. Our hope is that getting this important information out to the public will help generate tips for investigators and potentially lead to closure for the affected families. If you have a cold case you’d like us to look into, please let us know by using the form below.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.