NEW MEXICO (WNCN) — A 2-year-old boy found dead in an Oregon creek back in 1963 has finally been identified. It turns out the little boy was from New Mexico.
The boy’s body was discovered by a man named Roy Rodgers while he was fishing in the Keene Creek Reservoir on the evening of July 11, 1963, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (Oregon).
The body was wrapped in multiple layers of blankets, bound with wire, and weighted down with iron molds to keep his body hidden.
The case of the “Baby Doe” went unsolved until 2008 when his body was exhumed for DNA.
This lead later went cold when the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) returned no matches.
In 2010, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) created a composite image using the extracted DNA, free-of-charge.
Investigators say the case’s big break came in December 2020 when the sheriff’s office received a Facebook Messenger tip on the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
According to the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Nate Sickler then tasked Deputy Medical Examiner (ME) detective Christian Adams with continuing the investigation. Adams, working alongside OSP’s Human Identification Program Coordinator, Dr. Nici Vance, submitted a biological sample of the unidentified child to Parabon NanoLabs to generate investigative leads through DNA Phenotyping and Genetic Genealogy.
At this point in the investigation, Cece Moore, Chief Genetic Genealogist with Parabon NanoLabs, searched the open-source DNA repository GEDMatch, and found two potential siblings of the unidentified child.
An interview with a DNA-confirmed maternal half-brother in Ohio revealed that he had a young sibling with down syndrome born in New Mexico who went missing.
More than a decade later, a sibling match was finally found and with that, a birth certificate and name: Stevie Crawford. Crawford was born on Oct. 2, 1960.
The sheriff’s office credited many for their help in solving this cold case. Details on what led up to Crawford’s death are unknown.