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A box of evidence has provided a home in the the Idaho Sheriff’s Office basement for over thirty-four years. "Mr. Bones" resides here. The title is one of affection, bestowed long ago to the remains of a man who was discovered by hunters in 1984 as they slogged through a desolate wilderness area near Elk Summit, Idaho.
Immediate impressions of such a situation would normally conjure up images of a man who had slowly succumbed to nature's harsh conditions by way of an isolated existence. Yet the scene this lot had stumbled upon was chaotic.
Human bones were scattered across the area as far as they could see; remnants of clothing had been dispersed in all directions.
The man who was now strewn across his own former campsite had clearly been dressed to withstand uncomfortable conditions--bundled for warmth in two layers of wool and flannel with a coat also laying near his remains. A few coins were cloistered in the pocket of his brown imitation leather jacket, the singular item which seemed to have escaped the carnage even as it lay twenty feet away from the man's own skull.
A lens was missing from his wire-rimmed glasses, which would have handicapped his near-sighted vision in a dire way. Thorough searches of the campsite failed to produce this lens. It soon became apparent, however, that this man was missing something much more important: a name. He carried no identification, wore no jewelry, possessed no items to use as research and left very little behind to help investigators figure out his name.