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Rock Co. body found in 1995 identified as Delavan man

Family members have been notified of his identity, Sheriff Knudson added.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 11:16 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - Skeletal remains found nearly 27 years ago in Rock Co. were those of a 20-year-old Delavan man. The Rock Co. Sheriff’s Office confirmed his identity Tuesday afternoon and traced how investigators were able to piece together his identity after so many years.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, DNA evidence helped investigators determine the man to be Carl Junior Isaacs, Jr. During Tuesday’s news conference, Sheriff Troy Knudson explained that his office was able to obtain DNA from Issacs’ half-siblings as well as from his father’s body to confirm his identity.

Family members have been notified of his identity, Knudson added.

Earlier in the news conference, the sheriff pointed out that Isaacs had never been reported missing. At the time his body was discovered, the main clues investigators had were the concert t-shirt he was wearing for the English heavy metal band Venom and chrome pendant of a goat with horns that appeared to be homemade. Both items were showcased in an image created by the FBI in 2018 as part of the effort to identify body.

John Clinton Doe
John Clinton Doe(Rock Co. Sheriff's Office)

An autopsy performed after Isaacs’ remains were discovered near Turtle Creek, in Bradford Township, did not indicate how he died, Knudson explained. With his body now identified, the Rock Co. Sheriff’s Office is pivoting its investigation to solving that mystery.

Knudson asked that anyone with information on how Isaacs died or how his body ended up in the Bradford township woods is asked to call 608-757-7911.

He also offered his appreciation to the multiple agencies that have worked this investigation over the years, the university that performed the DNA analysis, along with former Rock Co. assistant coroner Jack Friess whom Knudson said spent over 1,700 hours working the case. The sheriff also thanked “literally generations of Rock Co. Sheriff’s Office detectives who have worked on this case.”

Determining Issacs’ Identity

In Monday’s statement, the Sheriff’s Office recounted how deputies were called to the wooded area near Turtle Creek, in Bradford Township, in November 1995 and, how four years ago, investigators turned to the organization that led them to the individual’s name. At the time, they could not confirm if the body was from the area or from further away, with Knudson noting that Isaacs remains were found near I-43.

At one point, an isotropic analysis of the bones found that, based primarily on their chemical composition, the individual was likely from the Midwest. The sheriff said those findings helped them narrow their ongoing search of Isaacs’ identity.

In 2018, the Sheriff’s Office reached out to the DNA Doe Project to see if it could help them identify the body. Sheriff Troy Knudson credited the members of the project with offering valuable information to help them determine who the individual was. The Sheriff’s Office then turned to the University of North Texas for their assistance.

The Rock and Dane County Medical Examiner’s Offices provided them with samples for more DNA testing and, on May 25, the Sheriff’s Office received the results. The Sheriff’s Office did not indicate Monday if the remains provided investigators with any information about how the individual died.

Sheriff Knudson reveals identity of man found in 1995 in Rock Co. on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
Sheriff Knudson reveals identity of man found in 1995 in Rock Co. on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.(WMTV/Jeremy Nichols)

John Clinton Doe

Two years before the Sheriff’s Office reached out to the DNA Doe Project, investigators released to the public a pair of pictures that they hoped would give them leads in identifying remains found in 1995. The images represented what they believed the individual would have looked like. (pictured below)

The Sheriff’s Office said the body of the man, who was dubbed John Clinton Doe, was found in November 2015 along Turtle Creek, near Waite Road and Highway 140, in Bradford Township. The Sheriff’s Office confirmed the individual identified recently is the same person.

The images showed a man in his teens wearing clothes that depict his body type and how he would have dressed. At the time, the lead man on the investigation, Jack Friess, said the purpose of the images was to jog people’s memory.

“The whole idea here is get people thinking about what was going on in the early 90′s in their lives, and do they have connection with this guy at all,” he said in 2016.

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