The LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services, or FACES, Laboratory recently assisted with the solving of an unidentified person case in Mississippi, according to an LSU news release.
On April 28, a body, clothed in a T-shirt and swim trunks, was discovered in the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Rankin County, Miss.
Investigators were unable to identify the body, hampered in part by the fact that no one had reported anyone missing in the area. A kayak had been found on the banks of the reservoir a considerable distance from where the body was found, and investigators were not able to tell if the unidentified man had been in the kayak or not. A door-to-door survey of residents in the region of the reservoir offered no clues.
On Aug. 10, Rankin County investigators Chris Barnes and Tim Lawless delivered skeletal remains of the victim to Mary H. Manhein, director of the LSU FACES Lab, for a physical profile and facial reconstruction. A digital image of the reconstruction created by Eileen Barrow, FACES Lab imaging specialist, was forwarded to Barnes on Sept. 9, and the investigators publicized the image in a local newspaper.
A tipster notified law enforcement that he had seen the picture in the paper and that he knew the individual. Investigators were able to identify the man as Larry K. Daugherty, who lived on the reservoir and owned the kayak. Daugherty had told family members in early April that he was leaving town and was moving out of the country, so they did not know that he was missing.
Daugherty’s identity was confirmed through dental records, and the case has been ruled an accidental drowning.