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Unsolved Mystery: Mebane Boy's Body Is Still Unidentified & Unclaimed After 14 Years

6:45 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
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Mebane, NC--  A little boy was found in Mebane, NC in 1998. Fourteen years later he has yet to be identified or claimed.

Investigators dubbed the little boy, "John Mebane Doe". His body was found on the side of Industrial Drive in Mebane, about 70 yards from Interstate 40 on September 25, 1998. No one reported him missing. No one ever claimed his remains.

"We assumed that within a short period of time someone would come forward. We had virtually zero response," said Investigator Tim Horn with the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Horn is one of the only people that was in the department in 1998 and still there today.

"The bones were not as you might envision, all connected. Things had disarticulated and fallen away," explained Horn.

Investigators were stunned when no one came forward.

Horn said, "We checked schools, we checked churches, we checked the national database for missing children and just didn't have a match."

Medical Examiners believe the body had been there since the Spring or Summer of 1998. They believe the boy was between 8 and 11-years-old, either White or Hispanic. After reconstructing his skeleton, they think he was 4'11 weighing around 50 pounds.

The death was ruled undetermined, but probable homicide. Along with the boy's remains, his clothing was at the scene too. Sneakers, socks, underwear, and khaki shorts with $50 in the pocket were also recovered.

"Most young people back in '98 at any rate don't have $50 in their pocket," said Investigator Horn.

Along with a few sketches that were made earlier on of the boy, an FBI artist sculpted a face of what they think "John Mebane Doe" looked like.

Tim Horn will spend whatever time he has left on the force trying to answer: 'Who is "John Mebane Doe?"' and 'What happened to him?'

"The average career in law enforcement is 30 years in the state of North Carolina and I've spent almost half of my career on this one case."

The remains of the child are currently in Chapel Hill in the Medical Examiner's Office. They are kept in a small box.

If you know anything about the case of "John Mebane Doe", call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or the Orange County Sheriff's Office at 919-644-3050.

Calls are confidential and anonymous.

WFMY News 2, Orange County Sheriff's Office

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