Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Breaking News

New Jersey Authorities Seek Help In 2002 Cold Case Of Man Found In Steel Drum

The body of a John Doe, who had been stabbed to death, was found in a steel drum that had been welded shut in Marlboro, New Jersey in 2002. Police hope that revealing new details in the case can help solve it now.

By Jax Miller
Marlboro John Doe Monmouth County Prosecutor

Authorities in New Jersey hope that someone with information can help them identify a man whose remains were found in a steel drum more than 20 years ago.

Officials with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Marlboro Township Police Department are appealing to the public to help finally put a name to a 2002 murder victim, according to a press release. The body of the John Doe was discovered after a family in Marlboro reported finding a 55-gallon steel drum on their property.

A postmortem examination revealed that the homicide victim died from “multiple sharp force injuries, including a stab wound to the heart.”

Despite numerous attempts over the years to identify the man — and information posted on websites like the Doe Network, Reddit and Websleuths — the Marlboro John Doe has never been identified.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has now published a new sketch of the victim created by a forensic anthropologist with the New Jersey State Police along with information relevant to the case.

Officials say the Marlboro family came upon the drum on April 19, 2002, after someone dumped it into a ravine on their property no earlier than the evening of April 18. At the time, a small stream flowed through the ravine. The residents took the drum, which had been welded shut, and moved it to the end of their driveway.

On April 29, Marlboro police and officials with the county health department were called to the property to remove the vessel, according to the statement. A probe was used to examine the drum’s contents when “something solid was discovered” by authorities, prompting them to seek assistance from the prosecutor’s office’s Major Crimes and Forensics Units.

“When the drum was opened, the body of a markedly decomposed, fully-clothed adult male was discovered,” officials stated. “No wallet or other identification was found with the body.”

It is believed the victim had been dead for approximately one month.

Marlboro John Doe is believed to have been between 18 and 34 years of age and was Latino, Black or multiracial, according to the county prosecutor. He was six feet tall and weighed between 140 and 150 pounds. Investigators say his “hips were very narrow” and his “fingers were long.”

His hair was one-quarter to half an inch long and dark brown or black in color.

Authorities believe the victim was from central or northern New Jersey or one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Officials also provided a detailed list of the clothes found with the victim, which included: a Chaps Ralph Lauren polo shirt; size 34x32 Carhartt carpenter jeans; men’s size 9.5 W Chukka-style black Timberland boots; size 38 Hanes jockey shorts; and a three-prong belt.

According to state police, the victim also had $2 on him.

Police were able to obtain a fingerprint from the victim, though it yielded no results when submitted into state and federal databases. That print is still suitable for comparison.

Spokesperson Chris Swendeman of the prosecutor’s office noted their commitment to the case when speaking to DailyMail.com.

“As with all our unsolved homicides, we are committed to solving them and bringing justice and peace to the victim’s family,” said Swendeman.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or the Marlboro Police Department at 1-732-536-0100.

Monmouth County Crime Stoppers, which accepts tips from those wishing to remain anonymous, has issued a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.