Coroner Releases New Images in Hopes of IDing Boy Found in Trabuco Canyon in 1996

(Courtesy of the National National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

December 13, 1996 police responded to a call concerning human remains that had been located in Trabuco Canyon in Orange County California.


Due to the condition of the remains, authorities speculated that the body had been there for about two years, and they were unable to establish a cause of death.


Authorities figure the individual went missing between 1995 and 1996.


Eventually, forensic anthropologists were able to come up with a rough idea of whose remains they were attempting to identify.  They determined that the individual was either a Caucasian or Hispanic male between the ages of 14 and 25.  They also said that he was between 5'2" and 5'8" with a medium build poor dental health.


“Over the years, there have been occasional leads to who he might be, yet he has not gotten his name back,” Kelly Keyes, Supervising Deputy Coroner said in a statement.


in 2003 a DNA test confirmed that the remains did belong to a male, and in 2010 the coroner's office partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an effort to try and match the remains to a name.


“Sometimes, seeing a picture can spark a memory and that could lead to information,” Keyes said.  “This is the first time in more than two decades that we have been able to put a face to this John Doe, and now we’re looking to match that face to a name so we can bring closure to his family.”


The new images released were generated based on the results of a CT scan of the skull.


Anyone with information was asked to contact the Orange County Coroner Division by calling the Sheriff’s Department, at 714-647-7000, or at The reference number for the case is 96-07901-MU.