Rutherford County officials working to identify man killed 42 years ago

Local News

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office announced it’s partnering with a private DNA laboratory to help solve a cold case from 1978.

Authorities uncovered a man whose body was found shot and partially burned on August 1, 1978. He was found at the Poole Knob Campground near La Vergne. An autopsy described the man as being in his late 30s who was 5-foot-10 with medium-length brown hair. He had a receding hairline and a reddish-brown and grey beard.

According to a release, the unidentified man had scars on his stomach, possibly from surgery, a mole near his waistline, and dentures.

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Detective Richard Brinkley and other detectives have followed multiple leads, but have not been successful in identifying the man.

The sheriff’s office announced a new partnership with Othram, a private DNA laboratory that specializes in recovering human DNA to solve murder cases. The cost for the DNA services is $5,000. The sheriff’s office is asking for donations to help cover the cost.

“Try to put yourself in the shoes of the family who is missing this man,” Detective Brinkley said. “Your donations can help a grieving family get answers they’ve sought for 42 years.”

Family members of missing men who believe they might be related to the man are asked to contact Detective Brinkley at (615) 904-3045 or at

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