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Kingsport police seeks help in cracking 15-year-old cold case of recovered remains

A newest artist rendering of a man found dead in the Holston River in Aug. 2003 was released Wednesday by the Kingsport Police Deaprtment. Authorities are hoping someone can help identify the victim. (KPD / Univ. of North Texas)

August 11 will mark the 15th anniversary of the discovery of a man's remains in the Holston River in Kingsport. In that time, all leads have been exhausted and the victim has yet to be identified.

The Kingsport Police Department released a recently completed rendering of what the victim may have looked like before his death in 2003. The forensic artist interpretation was completed at the University of North Texas through their EDAN program (Everyone Deserves a Name) and then submitted to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

The remains were spotted by a visitor bicycling through Riverfront Park located in the 1800 block of Netherland Inn Road and later recovered by a swiftwater rescue team with the Kingsport Fire Department, the report said.

After an initial examination by physicians at a Kingsport hospital, the remains were then transported to the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine where they determined the dead body had been in the water for a week to 10 days, rendering the man unrecognizable.

The victim was identified as a white male between the ages of 40 and 80 with gray hair. He was 6 feet tall weighing 180 pounds and was wearing a white button up shirt with blue and burgundy stripes, blue jeans, black shoes and a two-tone silver and gold watch with a black face, according to the report.

Foul play was ruled out as a cause of death, no identification was found on the body and the only evidence recovered was a BB&T bank envelope containing more than $200 in cash. The report noted that no BB&T branches were open in the Tri-Cities at that point.

Anyone with information on this case can call (423) 229-9429 or (423) 246-9111.

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