Deputies hone in on La. or NY as they try to ID mystery man found dead in swamp
NAPLES, Florida – Authorities have pinpointed Louisiana and New York as possible locations for family of the mystery identity of a deceased hiker found in a south Florida swamp.
Authorities said in newly-released information Friday, tipsters have helped them narrow-down the two states as possibilities of the man’s heritage. They still don’t know his true identity, only that hikers who have seen him on trails said the man went by the alias “Denim” and “Mostly Harmless.”
WBRZ.com first reported earlier this week, social media posters had reported hearing stories from the man while he was alive of being from the Baton Rouge area.
The body of the man was found on July 23 in an overgrown campsite in Big Cypress National Preserve east of Naples, Florida. Sheriff’s deputies in Collier County, Florida, posted Friday on Facebook, they believe the man died within a few days of being found.
His body was in a poor state. Deputies said when found, the man – believed to be between 35 and 50 years old and about 5’8” – weighed only 83 pounds.
Deputies quashed conspiracy theories in their update Friday, reporting there were no signs of obvious injuries and the death does not appear criminal in nature.
Deputies are certain images shared widely in threads about the situation of a man posters believed to be the deceased individual is in fact him.
“We do believe that the deceased is the same person pictured in the photos,” they said, but still struggle to find his real identity.
“We do not have his real name,” deputies added.
There was no identification found at the campsite.
They hope leads to the south or northeast will prevail: “We have info that the deceased may have ties to New York State and Louisiana and that he may have worked in the tech industry,” the Florida sheriff’s office wrote in its social media message.
Investigators are looking through unidentified persons databases and hoping to match forensic characteristics to find a name.
It’s believed the man has spent the last year-and-a-half hiking on various trails on the eastern United States coast.
The sheriff’s office asked people to report information to their tip line: 239-252-9300.
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