For nearly 30 years, the identity of a man whose body was discovered along Interstate 75 in Atlanta has been a mystery. Now that mystery has finally been solved thanks to new technology from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to Channel 2 News, police in Atlanta found a John Doe along the roadway on July 20, 1995, who appeared to have suffered severe injuries from a possible hit and run. Still alive, he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital but died nearly almost a year later at the hospital on June 24,1996.
Authorities attempted to identify the man at the time through fingerprint records, but his identity remained unknown until earlier this month when, thanks to FBI technology and persistence from the Fulton County medical examiner's office, he was positively identified on September 11 as Steven Shelton. Now that officials have a name, they are asking for anyone who may know the whereabouts of Shelton's family to contact the medical examiner so someone can claim him.
"Some mother sitting on the sofa hoping her person would come home," said FBI Quantico lab official Bryan Johnson. "Something of that nature; that's why we have the drive to do this."
Johnson credited Fulton County Medical Examiner Jimmy Sadler's "tenacity" for inquiring about the new FBI tech, which allows investigators to resize fingerprints to better see a more accurate version of what it would have looked like before the individual died.
"Without him reaching out and saying how about a little more, we wouldn't necessarily do a deep dive for Fulton County," Johnson said, calling it a "great team effort."
The FBI and Fulton County investigators have been able to identify six people over the last few months thanks to the new technology.
"It's always a rewarding feeling when you can help identify a person," said Sadler. "We work hard here with their familiy in mind. We are thankful for the new technology and work of the FBI in Quantico, VA."