5 years later, ID of body found in Yukon's Lake Laberge still a mystery

·2 min read
Yukon's coroner shared this photo in 2016 of clothes worn by a man found dead in Lake Laberge, north of Whitehorse. Five years later, investigators are still stumped as to the man's identity. (Yukon Coroners Service - image credit)
Yukon's coroner shared this photo in 2016 of clothes worn by a man found dead in Lake Laberge, north of Whitehorse. Five years later, investigators are still stumped as to the man's identity. (Yukon Coroners Service - image credit)

Five years after a body was found in Yukon's Lake Laberge, police say they still have no idea who the man was, where he came from, or how he ended up in the water.

The human remains were found on the east shore of the lake by a local resident in May 2016. Police say the deceased man was wearing three layers of clothes, a pair of insulated, steel-toed work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt.

In a news release Friday, Yukon RCMP renewed a call for help from the public to identify the man.

The RCMP Historic Case Unit and the coroner have been involved in an "extensive investigation" over the last five years with no luck.

"The circumstances surrounding the man going into the water and in what location remain a mystery," the release says.

Investigators have found some clues to the man's identity, with help from Othram, Inc., a private, Texas-based lab that specializes in DNA analysis.

The deceased man was found wearing three long-sleeve shirts, three layers of pants, undergarments, socks, work boots, and a glove.
The deceased man was found wearing three long-sleeve shirts, three layers of pants, undergarments, socks, work boots, and a glove.(RCMP)

Othram's website says its scientists are "experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated forensic evidence."

"We enable human identification even when other approaches fail," the site reads.

According to RCMP, Othram's "preliminary genetic analysis indicates the man has distant relatives living in Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia."

Police say they continue to work with Othram to successfully identify the man, "as someone is missing their loved one."

RCMP are also appealing to the public for help, five years after the coroner made a similar plea.

Based on medical and dental records, they describe the deceased man as:

  • Somewhere between 17 and 34 years of age in 2016

  • about 5'1" to 5'4"

  • no tattoos or identifying scars

  • missing an upper left tooth, "somewhat prominent" central upper front teeth, and "significant crowding" on upper and lower front teeth

  • no dental fillings

The man's clothes were size medium, and his Dakota work boots were size 8. His belt knife was a "Shiv" hunting-style knife, with green paracord rope wrapped around the handle.

The deceased man was also carrying a 'Shiv' knife in a sheath on his belt.
The deceased man was also carrying a 'Shiv' knife in a sheath on his belt.(RCMP)

Anybody with information is asked to call Yukon RCMP's Historic Case Unit at 867-667-5550 or email MDIV_HCU@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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