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Body to be exhumed in 1989 cold case

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By Cheyene Miller

Staff Writer

Almost 30 years after a decomposing body was discovered in a Grant County barn, Kentucky State Police plan to exhume the body in an attempt to finally identify the man and give a sense of closure to the victim’s potential relatives.
Trooper David Jones said advancements in DNA testing in recent years will ideally help KSP, along with the Scott and Grant County coroners, yield results in this decades-old case.
Jones said the examiners will likely extrapolate DNA samples from the man’s bone marrow since it is unclear what condition the body will be in after so many years.
“With this amount of time, you don’t know for sure what kind of state it’s going to be in,” said Jones, noting that police will hope to contact the man’s family members if possible. “If nothing else, (we want to) give closure to the family and figure out what happened to him.”
On April 9,1989, police found the naked body of a white man in a tobacco barn off Taft Highway about seven miles west of Dry Ridge. The man was shot in the head and both his hands were severed. He was about 6’5’ with short, brown hair, and weighed about 200 pounds. Police later declared his death a homicide, though they said he was likely killed at a different location before being placed inside the barn.
Police believed the man was probably in his mid/late 20s to early 30s at the time of his death, and said he had been in the barn for about 10 to 12 days before being discovered. They said his death was possibly connected to organized crime, and that he could have possibly been from another state.
Police were never able to identify the man despite an extensive investigation involving local news outlets and FBI National Crime Information Center databases.
KSP Post 6 recently sent photos of the man taken at the crime scene to the National Missing Persons System, which provided a digitally enhanced rendering of what the man looked like. Police began circulating the photo in hopes of finding new leads to the man’s identity, but have so far been unsuccessful.
Jones declined to release a specific date for the exhuming, or clarify how long the process will take.