Police: Who was boy found dead near straitjacket in 1981?

GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police continue to ask for help identifying a boy who was found dead on August 2, 1981 along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Greenbelt. Details of the case were posted on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Help ID Me campaign Facebook page and blog on Wednesday.

Among those details: his body was wrapped in a blue blanket, his ankles and right foot were wrapped in bandages and a canvas straitjacket and one beige blanket with the text "U.S." were nearby. Due to the items found near his body, investigators believe that the boy may have been a patient at a treatment facility, possibly Forest Haven. The facility for developmentally disabled persons was closed in 1991 following a lawsuit and discovery of abuse. Investigators haven't ruled out the possibility he may have been a patient at Spring Grove Mental Hospital, Walter Reed Medical Center or Crownsville Medical Center. Police contacted several hospitals seeking missing persons reports and sent fingerprints to the FBI but nothing matched the boy.

According to authorities, a medical examiner determined that the boy may have been between 15 and 22 years old. He weighed only 106 pounds. He was described as "black with medium length kinky hair" and had "severely decayed, crooked and uneven" teeth. He also had long fingernails.

Park Police reached out to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for help on the case in 2011. A detective was able to find two autopsy photos, the autopsy report and a piece of the boy's hair, which she submitted for DNA testing. The detective also requested that all states search for a fingerprint match for the boy in their databases.

Now officials want to hear from anyone who worked in a medical facility in the area in the early 1980s or who knows someone who did? If you recognize the young man or have a missing family member who may have been placed in a medical facility they also want to hear from you. Please call officials at 1-800-843-5678.


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