Authorities hope composite sketch will help ID man slain 40 years ago in Johnson County

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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He has gone without a name for more than four decades.

Investigators believe the Caucasian man was around 30 when he was slain, shot three times and then dumped in a field 57 yards off Road 1131A on the Matlock Ranch, a little more than 14 miles northwest of Cleburne.

A rancher discovered his body, nude and decomposing near a cedar thicket on Dec. 11, 1972.

The case was recently reopened by the Johnson County’s Sheriff Department’s Cold Case Squad, a group of retired law enforcement officers working together to bring new life into investigations that have long gone stagnant.

"This particular case had fallen through the cracks," James Ferguson, a retired assistant chief of the University of Texas at Arlington, told the Star-Telegram for an April article about the squad. "It was investigated at the time for as much as they could get done, but as far as there being any follow-up afterward, after two or three years, five or 10 years later, there wasn't."

Now, the investigators hope a composite of the victim, made by artist Ed Brennan from actual crime scene photos, might lead to the man’s identity and a possible break in the case.

The victim was 5-foot-6-inches tall and weighed 110 pounds. He had slightly curly, dark brown hair but no facial hair. His side burns came to his earlobes but were not heavy.

He was nude when found and appeared to have been in the field at least four days. He’d been shot in the left chest, right forearm and the middle finger of his right hand.

Anyone with information about his possible identity is asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 817-556-6058.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655 Twitter: @deannaboyd

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