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Skull Reconstruction Gives New Face To Decades-Old Salem Cold Case

It was in August of 1969 when a road crew discovered the partially decomposed body of an adult man in a small pit of water off of I-93 in Salem.

Now, nearly half a century later, the state attorney general’s office has released what’s believed to be the face of the man, with the hope of identifying him and solving a decades-old murder.

In December, the Salem Police Department and the state attorney general’s office reopened the unsolved homicide.

The unidentified body was exhumed for a reexamination.

The skull was sent to forensic artist Harvey Pratt of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

“Mr. Pratt is considered one of the leading forensic artists in the United States,” reads a press release from the state attorney general’s office.

His work has led to thousands of arrests and hundreds of identifications of unidentified human remains.

Pratt performed a skull reconstruction, using information on soft tissue depth at various locations of the skull.

“The tissue depth depends on age, sex, race and body density, all of which was approximated through the forensic anthropology exam” performed by the state.

The result was a facial reconstruction released by the state on Tuesday.

A number of the victim’s bones have also been sent to the FBI Nuclear DNA Database Unit with the hope that DNA can be extracted and entered into the National Missing Person DNA Database.

Anyone with information is asked to call Salem Police Detective Michael White at (603) 890-2383.