Author Topic: ALACHUA JOHN DOE: WM, 30s, found in Alachua, FL - February 1979 - noose found nearby *Ralph Tufano*  (Read 145 times)

Akoya

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ACSO discovered unidentified human remains on February 12, 1979 under a tree in the woods off State Road 236.

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Akoya

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https://identifyus.org/en/cases/5286

Case Information
Status Unidentified
Case number ME78-79
Date found February 13, 1979 00:00
Date created June 02, 2009 08:52
Date last modified April 22, 2016 12:36
Investigating agency
date QA reviewed June 03, 2009 04:52

Local Contact (ME/C or Other)
Agency District 8 Medical Examiner's Office
Phone 352-273-9292
Case Manager
Name Catherine Weldon
Phone 352.273.9292

Exclusions
The following people have been ruled out as being this decedent:
First Name Last Name Year of Birth State LKA
Bobby Clyatt 1942 Florida

Akoya

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https://identifyus.org/en/cases/5286

NamUs UP # 5286

ME/C Case Number: ME78-79
Alachua County, Florida
22 to 40 year old White Male

Case Report - NamUs UP # 5286

Case Information
Status Unidentified
Case number ME78-79
Date found February 13, 1979 00:00
Date created June 02, 2009 08:52
Date last modified April 22, 2016 12:36
Investigating agency
date QA reviewed June 03, 2009 04:52

Local Contact (ME/C or Other)

Agency District 8 Medical Examiner's Office
Phone 352-273-9292
Case Manager
Name Catherine Weldon
Phone 352.273.9292

Demographics

Estimated age Adult - Pre 40
Minimum age 22 years
Maximum age 40 years
Race White
Ethnicity
Sex Male
Weight (pounds) , Cannot Estimate
Height (inches) 66, Estimated
Body Parts Inventory (Check all that apply)
All parts recovered
Head not recovered
Torso not recovered
One or more limbs not recovered
One or both hands not recovered
Body conditions
Not recognizable - Partial skeletal parts only
Probable year of death 1978 to 1979
Estimated postmortem interval 6 Months

Circumstances
Location Found
GPS coordinates
Address 1
Address 2
City
State Florida
Zip code
County Alachua

Fingerprints

Status: No fingerprint information is currently available

Clothing and Accessories

No clothing or accessories
Clothing and accessories are described below

Dental

Status: Dental information / charting is available and entered

DNA
Status: Sample submitted - Tests complete


Akoya

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http://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/alachua-county/alachua-deputies-seek-information-on-cold-case

ALACHUA COUNTY
Alachua deputies seek information on cold case
Skeleton found under tree in 1979


By Stacey Readout - Executive producer of digital strategy
Posted: 2:37 PM, February 12, 2016


ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. - The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is seeking information on a 37-year-old cold case.

ACSO discovered unidentified human remains on February 12, 1979 under a tree in the woods off State Road 236.



A small rope with a noose on it was found adjacent to the remains.

The remains appeared to have been there for 6-12 months.

The remains belong to a white male in his early to mid-30s. He was wearing brown lace-up shoes, brown pants, light-colored short sleeve shirt and a light blue windbreaker jacket.




Dr. William Maples, author of "Dead Men Do Tell Tales," conducted an analysis of the skeleton.

He determined the man was just under 5'6" with a muscular build, light complexion and blonde or reddish hair.




If you have any information on this case or any other cold case, please contact Detective Kevin Allen at 352-384-3323.

Copyright 2016 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.

Akoya

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Scorpio

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Alachua John Doe has been identified as 35-year-old Ralph Tufano of New York.


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https://www.wuft.org/news/2022/11/02/43-year-old-high-springs-cold-case-reopened-after-body-is-identified/

43-year-old High Springs cold case reopened after body is identified
By Ivey Young
November 2, 2022   

Although investigators finally have a name to go with the remains of a man found more than 40 years ago, they have plenty of questions about how Ralph Tufano’s body ended up in the woods near High Springs.

In the winter of 1979, James Prince, a Florida Division of Forestry employee, found a skeleton off County Road 236 in High Springs while conducting a controlled burn.

Due to the limited technology at the time, the body remained nameless for decades as the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office continued the investigation to identify the victim. 

Kevin Allen, the cold case detective for the sheriff’s department, decided in 2021 to try methods that had been used to identify the Golden State Killer. Allen sent the unidentified remains to a Texas forensic lab which was able to use genome sequencing to build a comprehensive DNA profile for a genealogical database search through sites like Ancestry and 23andme.

“Someone had a great idea. Maybe we could find relatives of the person that was responsible for those sexual batteries and homicides,” said Allen, referring to the California case. “They were the first ones to break (the Golden State Killer) case. I remember seeing that on the national news and my first thought that came to mind was, ‘Wow, I could use that for our unidentified remains cases.’ And that’s exactly what we did with our 1979 John Doe case.”

Allen said he sent the DNA samples to Othram, a lab in Texas, which was able to find the best possible genetic sequencing. With the help of volunteer genealogy expert Misty Nall and Alachua County Sheriff’s Capt. Kaley Behl, a connection was made between the DNA and a distant relative of Tufano. 

Behl served as the liaison between the sheriff’s department and Tufano’s family in New York and made the original call to Tufano’s sister and Tufano’s two daughters that their missing family member had been identified in Alachua County. 

Both Allen and Behl said that their priority with this case, and other cases, is to keep open communication and be as transparent as possible. 

“You put yourself in their shoes and you think, ‘Can you imagine going 43 years and not knowing whatever happened to your dad, or your brother?’” Behl said. “I can’t imagine having that unknown for so long.” 

Tufano’s sister, Theresa Tufano Narbut, said she was very appreciative of how much effort was being put into solving this case over the years.

“They’ve been keeping us in touch in every way, every step of the way,” she said. “Every doubt, every positive. They’ve been amazing. We’re ever so grateful.” 


Ralph Tufano with his daughter, Maria. (Courtesy Alachua County Sheriff’s Office)

She and the family thought at first that a random call from a sheriff’s department in Florida, telling them they had found her missing brother, was sure to be a hoax. 

“We were just shocked,” she said. “It was very surreal.” 

Now that Tufano has been identified, the sheriff’s department is trying to figure out what brought him to Gainesville. 

Tufano was a successful accountant with a family, but he struggled with his mental health, Tufano’s family said. He had no connection to Alachua County.

The sheriff’s department and the Tufano family are asking anyone with information about Ralph Tufano’s last whereabouts to contact the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. 

“If you know anything, of his being there, of why he was there, who he was with, could you please come forward?” Narbut pleaded. “To have a little bit more closure would be even better for the family.” 

Anyone with information about Ralph Tufano is asked to contact Cold Case Examiner Kevin Allen at kallen@alachuasheriff.org or call (352) 384-3323.