PORT ANGELES — Do you recognize this man?
Port Angeles police on Tuesday released four sketches of an unidentified man whose body was found in a gully near the Clallam County Courthouse on Jan. 11.
“Hopefully those images will at least give somebody maybe some idea on who they think it might be so we can try and follow up on it,” Port Angeles Police Detective Trevor Dropp said Wednesday.
The decomposing body was found about 200 feet down the Peabody Creek gully near the east end of the courthouse parking lot.
“It was believed to have been there for a couple of months,” Dropp said.
Investigators found no identification on the body and “kind of ran out of leads,” Dropp said.
“There’s been several people that we have ruled out,” he added.
Anyone who recognizes the person in the sketches is asked to phone Dropp at 360-417-4945 or leave a message with police dispatch at 360-452-4545.
Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney/Ex Officio Coroner Mark Nichols said the sketches were prepared by King County Medical Examiner’s Officer artist Natalie Murry with forensic observations provided by Dr. Kathy Taylor. The county paid $300 for the images.
“It was really something that we opted to do because we had run up against a series of dead ends in trying to identify who that body belongs to,” Nichols said Wednesday. “It’s the first time we’ve done it.”
The sketches show a younger version of the man and what is believed to be a more recent depiction.
“Usually we’re able to identify human remains though dental records, for example, or DNA, or sometimes fingerprint evidence, but given the extremely decomposed nature of this particular body, we didn’t have fingerprints available,” Nichols said. “We weren’t able to locate any medical records of some possible leads that matched up.
“That’s what led us down this path and what prompted us to go ahead and retain the services of the sketch artist,” Nichols added.
“I think it’s a pretty unique specialty area to have a person who does that sort of work.”
Another body was found in the Peabody Creek ravine about mile upstream from the courthouse near Park Avenue last Christmas Eve.
Dropp said the cases were unrelated and the locations where the bodies were found appeared to be random.
“It is our sincere hope that someone will see the sketch, recognize the decedent and notify law enforcement as to a possible match,” Nichols said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.