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CherBearSTL
20 December 2011, 10:31
Hello Everyone!

I am a civilian that spends a few hours a week doing research on unidentified persons cases. I realize that this is my first post here, but I joined your forum for the sole purpose of helping to give this unidentified person a name. I am posting here because this unidentified man had an elaborate Marines tattoo that also included the words "1st Force Recon." I have included a reconstruction picture of the man and an actual picture of his tattoo. If you follow the link below, it shows you the actual picture of him. Be aware that this is a picture of him after he was found deceased. It is not bad to look at, but I would never post a picture of a deceased person on your website out of respect for your members.
https://identifyus.org/cases/6814?page=case_information


http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j426/cherbearstl/UID1.jpg
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j426/cherbearstl/UID2.jpg

Here is some background on this person. He is an african american male (although appears to be very light skinned) that was found deceased in New York City in 1997. He is listed as being only 5'4" tall, but he could be a few inches taller. His age is estimated as being between 20-30. If he WAS indeed in the Marines, I would estimate that his service would have been anywhere between 1987-1997. A complete report can be found at the link above if you would like more info. He was found with no identification and no one has reported him missing nor have they claimed his remains.

I have done hours or research on First Force Marines and cannot come to the conclusion as to whether or not this individual could have indeed been a part of your group. Respectfully, this man could have been a "hopeful" Force Recon Marine, the tattoo could have been a memorial for a family member, or he could have actually served with one of you.

Please let me know your thoughts on his ties to FR and any other avenues that I may use to help find his identity.

Cheri

Hostile0311
20 December 2011, 11:21
Well first of all if you think he is between 20-30 years old then it would not be possible for him to have served in the time frames you mentioned. At 30 yrs old that would put his DOB @ 1981. He would have been 16 in 97. Furthermore, I don't understand how you could estimate a deceased persons time of service anyway. He could have gotten out a week, month or even years at the time he perished. No accurate way to tell this in my opinion. Second, there are lots of people with USMC tattoos who never served. I'm not saying he wasn't in or wasn't FR but just because he has ink that says he was doesn't always make it so. Best of luck in your search but unless you have more details or someone here happens to recognize him then making a positive ID with the info you have would be tough.
PS: Cheri, Please post an intro in the prescribed thread. It was sent with your registration email.

CherBearSTL
20 December 2011, 11:34
Well first of all if you think he is between 20-30 years old then it would not be possible for him to have served in the time frames you mentioned. At 30 yrs old that would put his DOB @ 1981. He would have been 16 in 97.

He would have been 20-30 in 1997, making his birth year between 1967-1977.

Furthermore, I don't understand how you could estimate a deceased persons time of service anyway. He could have gotten out a week, month or even years at the time he perished. No accurate way to tell this in my opinion.

If he was 30 in 1997, he would have been 18 in 1985. He could have been in the Marines in 1985. If he was 20 in 1997, he could have been in the Marines in 1995. So, I estimated that he COULD have been in the service between 1985-1997 based on his estimated age.

Second, there are lots of people with USMC tattoos who never served. I'm not saying he wasn't in or wasn't FR but just because he has ink that says he was doesn't always make it so. Best of luck in your search but unless you have more details or someone here happens to recognize him then making a positive ID with the info you have would be tough.

The only information I have available to me is exactly what is on the web page that I posted. I wish I had more information that I could provide, but it just isn't available.

I agree that people get tats all the time of things that don't apply to them, especially military service, but it's worth a shot to try all avenues.

CherBearSTL
20 December 2011, 11:38
PS: Cheri, Please post an intro in the prescribed thread. It was sent with your registration email.

Sorry, I missed it in the first email (it was all the way at the bottom). I will do that now.

Hostile0311
20 December 2011, 11:47
Sorry, I missed it in the first email (it was all the way at the bottom). I will do that now.

I'm sorry too. I missed the TOD and assumed it was recent. Again, best of luck in your quest for an ID. Its a shame people go unidentified and I applaud your efforts in trying to uncover his identity.

tooslow
20 December 2011, 11:53
He was too young to be known by any of my associates; sorry.

CherBearSTL
20 December 2011, 12:20
He was too young to be known by any of my associates; sorry.

Thanks for looking. Just remember that he would have been between the ages of 35 and 45 presently, and that's IF the medical examiner had the correct age range when he passed away.

Does anyone have any thoughts on his tattoo? Does it look like something that a an actual FR Marine would get? Is it proper to spell it "1st Force Recon?"

Silverbullet
20 December 2011, 12:29
How about we let some of the people who actually served in Force Recon weigh in?

Thanks

Global Med
21 December 2011, 01:02
1st Force stood back up in 1987 so your time of service guesstimation would fit. The tattoo is not anything someone would get to reference their time at the Company while at the Company or after. It seems more like something one would get inked after boot camp, and then he could have had “1st Force Recon” added after the fact if in deed he did serve.

The number of African Americans in the Company at any time you could probably count on one hand. I can tell you he was not one of my dark green brothers at the Company up till late 1991.

BigNickT
21 December 2011, 01:28
My first thought was he was a comm guy or some other support type. For some reason the tat looks like it was done in two parts. With the 1st Force part added later.

Cherbear, there are a couple facebook groups having to do with the Recon community. You might try there as well. More exposure.

Tax out

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 10:44
I really, really appreciate your help! I have received a lot of great info from everyone. I had never really considered the fact that the "1st Force Recon" could have been added later.

Someone mentioned a small pox vaccine scar that they see in the photo. Does anyone else see that? I'm not familiar with that scar because I'm in my early 30s and I never received one.

SOTB
21 December 2011, 10:50
Someone mentioned a small pox vaccine scar that they see in the photo. Does anyone else see that?If this is in reference to the scar between the 1st and Force, then no -- I don't see that.

IMO, the scar appears to be recent, and the bruising in the region suggests something recent, as well....

Silverbullet
21 December 2011, 11:07
I don't recognize him. I'll point SARC88 to this thread. Btwn Global Med, SARC and me, I think we cover any time period he could have been in the company late 80's and early to mid 90's.

Nick gave some very good advice as well. You may want to follow up with him as to the FB groups.

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 11:18
If this is in reference to the scar between the 1st and Force, then no -- I don't see that.

IMO, the scar appears to be recent, and the bruising in the region suggests something recent, as well....

I think they were referring to the discoloration underneath the letter C. That's all I can think of.

The bruising and marks between 1st and Force are from the accident that caused his death....at least that's what I would assume.

SOTB
21 December 2011, 11:21
I think they were referring to the discoloration underneath the letter C. That's all I can think of....If that is the case, then it certainly doesn't look like what I'm familiar with (http://www2.cedarcrest.edu/academic/bio/hale/bioT_EID/lectures/smallpox-scar.html)....

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 11:24
I don't recognize him. I'll point SARC88 to this thread. Btwn Global Med, SARC and me, I think we cover any time period he could have been in the company late 80's and early to mid 90's.

Nick gave some very good advice as well. You may want to follow up with him as to the FB groups.

Thank you. I knew you covered many years of service here, which is why I figured someone would recognize him if he did actually serve and was FR. I hate to think that he would tattoo that on his body just for appearances. How often does that really happen? I have heard of people doing it...my husband said there were guys in the Navy that would get a Navy Seals tattoo and then they would get kicked out before they even finished bootcamp. Did any of you ever see anything like that?

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 11:33
If that is the case, then it certainly doesn't look like what I'm familiar with (http://www2.cedarcrest.edu/academic/bio/hale/bioT_EID/lectures/smallpox-scar.html)....

I'm with you. I don't see it either. Um, a word of warning. Do NOT do a google search of small pox vaccine scar. UGH...I think I'm going to be sick! :(

SOTB
21 December 2011, 11:42
Did any of you ever see anything like that?Yes. You are now running a strong risk of hijacking your own thread....

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 12:06
Yes. You are now running a strong risk of hijacking your own thread....

Sorry, just wanted to know if it was a common practice.
Thanks for your help. I will move on to the other resources that you recommended.

sarc88
21 December 2011, 12:30
I don't recognize him, and as GlobalMed stated - we didn't have a lot of AA Marines in the Company back then.

The tat is curious. In my experience, most posers would simply put "Force Recon" - not call out the specific unit. And while the "Death Before Dishonor" scroll is very common, that winged dagger image is unique.

If you're seriously looking, I'd float that image around the tat shops in and around Oceanside CA and see if an artist can provide any clues.

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 13:46
I don't recognize him, and as GlobalMed stated - we didn't have a lot of AA Marines in the Company back then.

The tat is curious. In my experience, most posers would simply put "Force Recon" - not call out the specific unit. And while the "Death Before Dishonor" scroll is very common, that winged dagger image is unique.

If you're seriously looking, I'd float that image around the tat shops in and around Oceanside CA and see if an artist can provide any clues.

Thanks. That's good advice. When you say that the winged dagger is unique, is it unique to a unit or just different than other tats you've seen?

One other point. He does appear to be very light skinned, so he may not have stood out as being AA at the time. Without knowing him while he was alive, it's hard to say for sure. What I do know is that he was very small in stature....5'6" and only 130 lbs.

SOTB
21 December 2011, 14:09
What I do know is that he was very small in stature....5'6" and only 130 lbs.Hmmm, I only know of one AA Marine with prior California Recon time who fits that bill -- but I don't know that he was ever 1st FR. When I last saw him, he was 3rd Recon, C Co. I am looking for a photo to see if they are similar in appearance -- I don't think this person is the same, though....

sarc88
21 December 2011, 14:56
Cheri,

Do you have a specific role in the case? Are you doing volunteer time with an ME office, or a social group of some kind? Please clarify.

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 15:37
Cheri,

Do you have a specific role in the case? Are you doing volunteer time with an ME office, or a social group of some kind? Please clarify.

I play no role within this case at all except I regularly look through cases on my lunch hour and this one caught my eye. It seemed like it would be so easy to identify him because the picture and tattoo are so clear.

I just know that no one will ever claim him if no one knows he's even missing, much less deceased.

I do not work or volunteer for any ME, and I don't know anyone involved in the case. I just want to get his info out there so hopefully his family can get some answers. If you have any info that you think would be helpful, I recommend contacting the New York State police or the office of the NY medical examiners office.

I hope that helps.

Highspeed160th
21 December 2011, 15:54
This case has been floating around Marine circles for a while. The subjects been brought here or Mil.com before (?). Don't know if there's missing person thread or what...Just saying.

Back to my lane. Hope he finds his way home.

PS. Can Blackjack shed any light?

CherBearSTL
21 December 2011, 16:28
This case has been floating around Marine circles for a while. The subjects been brought here or Mil.com before (?). Don't know if there's missing person thread or what...Just saying.



Thanks. I haven't seen this case posted anywhere else on the military focused boards. I would be ok with the mods moving this to that thread if it exists.

Wench
21 December 2011, 16:39
As someone who worked missing persons and cold case homicide for several years, it isn't uncommon for: 1) someone to not have any family at all; 2) be completely estranged from family to the point that their missing/deceased status is irrelevant; or 3) be recognized by family yet still be unclaimed out of fear of being stuck with a funeral bill.

Knowing how the system works, I'd be surprised if he's got any family looking for him.

Purple36
21 December 2011, 21:20
Thanks. I haven't seen this case posted anywhere else on the military focused boards. I would be ok with the mods moving this to that thread if it exists.

As someone who worked missing persons and cold case homicide for several years, it isn't uncommon for: 1) someone to not have any family at all; 2) be completely estranged from family to the point that their missing/deceased status is irrelevant; or 3) be recognized by family yet still be unclaimed out of fear of being stuck with a funeral bill.

Knowing how the system works, I'd be surprised if he's got any family looking for him.

You just described me!

CherBearSTL
22 December 2011, 10:50
As someone who worked missing persons and cold case homicide for several years, it isn't uncommon for: 1) someone to not have any family at all; 2) be completely estranged from family to the point that their missing/deceased status is irrelevant; or 3) be recognized by family yet still be unclaimed out of fear of being stuck with a funeral bill.

Knowing how the system works, I'd be surprised if he's got any family looking for him.

I think that everything you said here goes without saying. Obviously there is a reason why this man was never claimed, and it has more to do with the fact that no one is looking for him than anything else.

This case was never publicized in 1997, so it's unlikely that anyone recognized him and didn't claim him because they didn't want to pay funeral bills. He wasn't even added to the website until 2010 which means no one saw his picture before that time. The picture that was posted here is a recreation of his face that was done just this week. It was done so that more people would be willing to look at him...a lot of people will not look at his post mortem picture, and I totally understand that.

To keep this on track...I posted here to find out if anyone recognized him. I know that your group is very small and closeknit. I agree that there are a lot more avenues for his case to be publicized and I am working on that now. Hopefully I can find him a name other than John Doe.

sarc88
22 December 2011, 11:56
I play no role within this case at all except I regularly look through cases on my lunch hour and this one caught my eye. It seemed like it would be so easy to identify him because the picture and tattoo are so clear.

I just know that no one will ever claim him if no one knows he's even missing, much less deceased.

I do not work or volunteer for any ME, and I don't know anyone involved in the case. I just want to get his info out there so hopefully his family can get some answers. If you have any info that you think would be helpful, I recommend contacting the New York State police or the office of the NY medical examiners office.

I hope that helps.

Understood - thank you

SgtUSMC8541
22 December 2011, 12:28
Maybe check with 2nd Battalion 25th Marines in Garden City Long Island. If he got out, he may have done some time with the local Reserve Unit. Some of the SNCO's there were there back in the mid 90's.

onnapoint
23 December 2011, 02:18
Maybe he served during the time when the military started taking DNA samples of all service members? Has the NY medical examiners office contacted the military about checking this?

CherBearSTL
23 December 2011, 10:02
The ME has been contacted, and they have shown very little interest. They received a grant last year to start DNA testing all of the unidentifieds, but I have no idea if he is on the list. As of now he does not have DNA on file, although they do have fingerprints and dentals.

Wench
23 December 2011, 11:27
Do you have access to the actual case file, or are you just working off of that link you provided in your original post?

CherBearSTL
23 December 2011, 13:52
Do you have access to the actual case file, or are you just working off of that link you provided in your original post?

I am not in LE, as I stated earlier, so I would not have any access to the case file.