Children playing on a rainy day in July of 1989 found a shoe near Flat Rock Run Creek. Upon further investigation, Marion County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the body of the victim entangled in brush near the creek bank, located behind a home on Harding Highway East (near Highway 309) east of Caledonia, OH.
Forensic analysis indicated the victim was a Caucasian male, between 22 and 35 years old, approximately 5’9” to 5’10” who weighed around 140 pounds with black or dark brown hair and a slight beard. The unidentified man wore several layers of clothes, including a flannel shirt, a red and black striped short-sleeved shirt, a multicolored knitted sweater, Dakota brand blue jeans, boxers, red socks, and size 9.5 black adidas brand sneakers.
Investigators determined the manner of death for the man they dubbed “Luther” was a homicide.
NamUs ID: UP4771
Date Body Found: July 19, 1989
Estimated Age: 22-40
Estimated PMI: 3 weeks
Location: Marion County, OH
Agency of Jurisdiction
Marion County Sherriff’s Office
Christy Utley, Major
Links to More Information
On October 19, 2021 the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and the DNA Doe Project (DDP) announced the identity of a deceased male found near Caledonia, Ohio in July 1989 as John C. Kraicinski. DDP had been working to identify the deceased through forensic genetic genealogy since 2019.
Born in 1955, Mr. Kraicinski appears to have spent much of his life in Marion County. He was found floating in the water along the bank of Flat Run Creek in eastern Marion County. He was 34 years old when he died in 1989.
After Detective Christy Utley of the MCSO approached DDP about this case in late spring 2019, tissue samples were sent to DNA Solutions in June 2019. As insufficient DNA was obtained, additional extraction was performed at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague. Finally, after successful sequencing and bioinformatics, a file was uploaded to GEDmatch and FTDNA which provided good matches for DDP’s genealogists to work with. DDP’s team was able to identify the family of the candidate in mid-October 2020.
According to the team, the primary clue in this case was the amount of Eastern European ancestry revealed by the Doe’s admixture. Finding a family line with the same admixture, the team was able to identify a family member who was missing after the discovery of the remains.
The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Det. Christy Utley for entrusting the case to us; DNA Solutions and ICMP for extraction; HudsonAlpha Discovery for sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch and Family Tree DNA for providing their databases; and DDP’s dedicated team of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who provided MCSO with identifying information to bring John home to his family.
Click here for more information on the search for the identity of Marion Co John Doe 1989
Last Updated: October 19, 2021