Yukon RCMP still trying to solve mystery of body found in Dawson City area in the ’80s

Did you live in or around Dawson City in the early ’80s? 

And do you remember a man suddenly going missing, or rumours about a murder? 

If so, the Yukon RCMP’s historical case unit wants to hear from you. 

A man whose remains were found buried in the North Fork area, about 40 kilometres east of Dawson City, just off the Dempster Highway, in 1983 remains unidentified — and officials say they believe foul play was involved in his death. 

Const. Michael Simpson, a historical case unit investigator who took over the file in July, said the case has never been closed and that he’s been “actively looking at it and pursuing a number of leads” after getting some “compelling” information over the summer. 

However, due to the amount of time that’s passed, the investigation has been “challenging.

There is a family out there —  a possible wife, children, parents —  who never have known what happened to their loved one.– Const. Michael Simpson

“The 40 years has made it difficult to go back in time … I’ve been doing a lot of cold-calling, reaching out to people, trying to find people from that area to help me,” he said. 

“It’s a lot of, you’re in the dark quite a bit and you’re trying to find your way through it sometimes.” 

According to a national database of missing people and unidentified human remains, the man was discovered “buried several metres from a road by a woodland brush” on May 21, 1983.

He was a white male estimated to have been between 22 to 40 years old with brown, wavy hair, standing five feet nine inches tall and weighing 165 pounds. He had visible gold teeth and “hairy legs,” according to the database, and was found wearing white cotton socks with red and blue bands, underwear and dark blue jeans. 

No photo or sketch of him are available. 

Despite the age of the case, Simpson said finding answers about who the man was and what happened to him is still important. 

“There is a family out there —  a possible wife, children, parents —  who never have known what happened to their loved one and I think that’s the first and foremost reason identifying this person, because someone out there is missing that person and we would like to determine who he is,” he said. 

“And then the second part is … we deemed this (death) suspicious, a homicide. There’s somebody out there who knows what happened to him and I think figuring that out is imperative.” 

Simpson asked anyone with information related to the case, no matter how minor they think it is, to contact the Yukon RCMP’s historical case unit at 867-667-5500 or mdiv_hcu@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Information can also be provided at local RCMP detachments.

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