Police stumped by case of man found dead in Bazetta 11 years ago

Investigators still haven't identified the man and even reached out to a local psychic for clues

Investigators say they've exhausted every clue they've been given and have still been unable to identify a man found dead 11 years ago.


BAZETTA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A mystery still lurks around Mosquito Lake.

Investigators say they’ve exhausted every clue they’ve been given and have still been unable to identify a man found dead 11 years ago.

Back in July of 2006, the mysterious man was found by chance by a family walking through the tall grass to go fishing.

Investigators believe he had been there for about eight months, and that his body was dumped. All that was left, were his bones and a gold earring.

There were no signs of his clothing or any signs of trauma.

FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION OF UNIDENTIFIED MAN

Detective Shawn Rentz went back to the scene last month.

“Anything that was in this area, unless you stumbled across it, it was pretty much concealed,” he said.

Joe Sofchek was the detective assigned to the case at the time. He’s retiring from the police department but runs the store at the marina, less than a mile away.

Sofchek said investigators tracked down every lead in the case, including pinning down the manufacturer of the earring that the man was wearing.

“That earring was so common that thousands of them were sold,” he said.

Sofchek said it’s surprising that no one has come forward to identify the man, even after a facial reconstruction was completed.

“It’s puzzling how somebody could let somebody go and not say that they’re missing or anything like that,” he said. “We even had a psychic involved in this.”

That psychic was Mary Ellen Rodrigues, a Masury woman who says she received messages from the beyond about the body.

“I left like his name was James or Jamie. Had a J name to it,” she said.

Watch: Masury psychic says she received messages from dead man

Rodrigues is a clairvoyant medium who has helped investigate cases all over the country, including this one.

She said she hadn’t heard anything about the case until a chance meeting with a Bazetta police officer at Perkins. A mutual friend introduced the two, and she said information then started coming to her about the dead man.

“He was very concerned about his shoes, so I felt like the shoes meant a lot to him,” she said. “I feel there was an identity to him if somebody saw the shoes, maybe they would know it.”

Rodrigues described those shoes as brown Italian leather shoes with thin laces. Police found no shoes near the man’s body.

Now, the case is in a binder labeled “skeletal remains.”

Bazetta Police Chief Michael Hovis said the case will remain open and they’ll continue to investigate any leads that come in until the case is solved.

Police described the remains as belonging to a black man, approximately 50 years old. He was about 5’8″ tall.

Police hope news of the case will bring someone forward who has more information about the man.

Those with information are asked to call Bazetta Police at 330-638-5503.

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