On January 11, 2015, the decomposed remains of a man were found in a shed in Mill Creek, Washington. It appeared as though the man, who is called Mill Creek Shed Man, had been living in the shed. He is thought to have died about a year before he was found, but it could have been longer.
The man appeared to be between 50 and 65 years old, about 5’11” (some reports state 5’9,” some state 6’1”), and African American. The pinky finger on his right hand was missing. Other findings were a “prominent sternal fissure, healed nasal fracture, lumbar scoliosis, and arthritis.”
No cause of death could be ascertained, and there were no signs of foul play. The following information is not confirmed, although it can be found online. There is “local lore” that states that our John Doe had permission to live in the shed from a man who once owned the property on which it was located. A man named Jerry Diggs/Deggs lived on the property where our John Doe was found, but there is no proof he and Mill Creek Shed Man are the same person. Jerry apparently gave his birth date as 12/31/1949. He claimed to be from the East Coast and to have worked as a security guard for a bank. He stated that he was struck in the head during a bank robbery and received a head injury.
Agency of Jurisdiction
Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office
Jane Jorgensen, Medicolegal Death Investigator
Links to More Information
The costs of extraction and sequencing were covered by a combination of Snohomish County financing and DDP Fund raising efforts. DNA has been successfully sequenced after a second attempt and DNA Doe Project has uploaded the results to GEDmatch. Genealogical analysis is in progress.
Photo Credit: Natalie Murry