Norwalk police announce new DNA profile in 1996 cold case

Norwalk police announced Monday a potential break in a 20-year-old cold case.

An unidentified man was found washed up on Shea Island off the coast of Norwalk in April of 1996.

Norwalk police say they had a very general description of him at the time and weren't able to identify him through dental records or a fingerprint search.

An autopsy in 1996 was unable to determine how he died.

They say the state lab was recently able to develop a complete DNA profile from hairs recovered from the scene. The profile has now been loaded into the Connecticut and national databases.

Officials are asking anyone in the tristate area around the Long Island Sound who had a family member go missing in 1995 or early 1996 to contact their local police agency and submit a DNA sample.

"It's a simple process of just a little cheek swab to get a buccal swab that could then be entered into the CODIS system and compared against this individual," Lt. Arthur Weisgerber says.

Police tell News 12 Connecticut that they believe the John Doe was in the water for eight to 10 months and because of the currents, he could have come from the North Shore of Long Island, New York City, Westchester County or even Groton, Connecticut.

Investigators say they have a general description of the man, which is why the new DNA profile is so critical. They describe him as white or Hispanic, with brown hair and brown eyes, anywhere from 20 to 38 years old and about 5 feet 1 inches or 5 feet 2 inches tall.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."