One year later, body found in St. Helens is still 'John Doe'
A year after two high school students found a severely decomposed body in a St. Helens creek, the identity of the deceased is still unknown.
St. Helens police officers responded to reports of a body in McNulty Creek near Firlok Park Boulevard and Highway 30 on the afternoon of Sept. 24, 2019.
St. Helens Police Officer Seann Luedke said at the time that the body was of a white male between his mid-30s and 50s. No foul play was suspected based on the preliminary investigation.
The body was submitted to the Oregon State Crime Lab for an autopsy.
More than a year later, investigators have yet to identify the deceased.
This month, a spokesperson for the city of St. Helens said city police couldn't accurately estimate the time of death "due to the environmental factors that were present when the body was discovered, including the presence of water and the time of the year."
The city spokesperson said Officer Matt Smith is running St. Helens police's investigation. A veteran of the Forest Grove Police Department, Smith joined the department in July 2020, according to state records.
Smith "is currently working on obtaining necessary familial DNA samples for a possible identification lead that we are pursuing," the spokesperson said.
Smith did not respond to a request for more information about the investigation.
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