HENRY COUNTY, Ind. — He’s been a John Doe for 19 years, now we finally know his name.
In October of 2003, undercover IMPD officers stopped at an abandoned gas station to use the restroom. While there, they found a body who appeared to have died from a gunshot wound to his head.
The Henry County Coroners tried to identify the body, but ended up short. “The thing about the identifying part, is that he didn’t have any identification on him,” said Stacey Guffey, the current Henry County Coroner. Guffey says the only items that the man had was a Walmart receipt in Reynoldsburg, Ohio – even then with surveillance cameras his identity remained a mystery.
His fingerprints and DNA were sent to federal and state agencies to try to solve the mystery, but the coroner only heard silence until this past February. The FBI got a match on the fingerprints and identified the man as Daniel Diaz from Columbus, Ohio.
Ultimately, it was luck that got the results that Daniel Diaz identified. With the numerous unidentified bodies in the country and even in the state, Guffey says they were fortunate the FBI looked into the case, “My understanding, from what I was told, was that we were one of the fortunate ones that they actually pulled his card to do a physical examination on.”
When Guffey contacted Diaz’s family, “It was very traumatic, but however during the process they had it in their mind that he didn’t want a relationship with them. They didn’t know that he was in our county and lying in the cemetery,” Guffey said, “I’m glad we got this young man identified. The marker on his grave site says, ‘Here lies a man that only God knows’ and we can change that now and put an identity to it.”