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Investigators in Alabama are hoping that someone will help them identify the remains of a murder victim found 20 years ago with no head, hands or heart.
The body was found in 1997 by a teenager in the Cataco Creek, located north of Arab, the Marshall County Sheriff's Department said in a newly issued press release.
'The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help with a cold case,” they wrote. “ We hope to allow a family, somewhere, some closure to their missing loved one.”
The victim was a white man, approximately 20 to 30 years of age, weighing around 150 pounds and standing at 5’9” tall. Investigators think he had sandy-reddish hair.
“The body had been mutilated in an apparent attempt to prevent identification of the victim and the cause of death,” investigators state. “Immediate investigation and subsequent cold-case investigations have yielded very few details.”
Part of the reason was the way in which the man was mutilated.
“The hands and head had been removed, obviously to keep us from identifying the victim," Marshall County Sheriff's office chief investigator Keith Wilson told WHNT in Huntsville.
Without a head or hands, dental and fingerprint searches are pretty much ruled out.
Eerily, the victim’s heart and spleen were also removed, according to WAAY in Huntsville. Wilson, who has worked on the case since the year 2000, said he believes the organs were removed surgically, possibly to conceal injuries such as a stab or gunshot wound.
He doesn’t think that the murder occurred where the body was found.
Wilson said that the victim hasn’t matched any missing persons yet.
Three days prior to the discovery of the body, witnesses did say they saw an early 1990’s model maroon Chevrolet truck with tinted windows in the area, according to the press release.
“The truck was driven by a white male and was seen leaving the area near the location the body was found,” the release states.
A sketch of that person has been released by the sheriff’s office.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office at 256-582-2034. A reward may be available for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
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