I was doing my usual cross indexing of unidentified persons to missing persons when the case of Snake River John Doe of Idaho caught my attention.  You see, Snake River John Doe was found wearing designer Britannica jeans and a bathing suit underneath (complete with undies underneath as well).  His file noted that he had “perfect teeth”.  The perfect teeth along with nice designer jeans both lead me to believe we were dealing with a missing person who likely was not an at risk individual before their disappearance.

When I say at risk I basically mean someone that was subjected to environments where homicide would have been something that effected their demographic.  Snake River John Doe likely WAS NOT homeless, drug addicted, or mentally ill like many at risk individuals.  He likely WAS conscious of his health and affairs.  He also likely had a somewhat healthy social network which meant that his disappearance left him with many loved ones to worry for him and report him missing.  It’s amazing what a perfect set of teeth can reveal about a person.

Searching through the faces of the missing I found Dale Eugene Kelley.  Dale disappeared after attempting to drive from his home in Northern California down to his girlfriends house in Southern California.  At first I thought, “How could Dale have ended up in Idaho if he went missing from California?” Then I noticed his case file said that his car was eventually found in Louisiana.  This set off a lightbulb knowing that we are dealing with a crime spanning across state lines.

Then, I read further into Dale’s file and recognized that he was wearing Britannica designer jeans when he went missing.  This is the same make of jeans the John Doe was found wearing.  Then, the kicker: Dale’s file lists him as having “Perfect teeth” as his father was a dentist.  So, we have two individuals sporting the Britannica Jeans along with perfect teeth.  It does not hurt that Dale’s vitals are nearly identical to Snake River John Doe.

Here is Snake River John Doe’s Case Information:

(Source: Nez Perce County Sheriff web site)

On June 26, 1982, a body was located in the Snake River, on the Idaho side, 25 miles south of Lewiston. The victim was a white male, age 13-20, 5’11”, approximately 150 pounds, long, straight dark brown to black hair, with a 2″ scar on his right ankle. The individual was shot twice; once in the left shoulder and once in the neck. Victim was wearing Britannica jeans over blue swimming trunks with red and white stripes down the sides of the trunks, white socks, and blue brief-style underwear. Eye color could not be determined and no dental work was evident in the teeth. No jewelery or identification were recovered and the body had no tattoos or distinguising marks except for the scar on the ankle.
Ballistics proved the victim had been shot with a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson 36 Centennial Model. This particular weapon has not been manufactured since 1967.

And here is our missing person Dale Eugene Kelley:

Dale Eugene Kelley

  • Case Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Missing Since: May 20, 1981
  • Location Last Seen: Carmichael, Sacramento County, California

Physical Description
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

  • Date of Birth: February 15, 1960
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 21 years old
  • Race: Caucasian
  • Gender: Male
  • Height at Time of Disappearance: 5’10
  • Weight at Time of Disappearance: 165 lbs
  • Hair Color: Brown, straight hair
  • Eye Color: Green
  • Alias(s) / Nickname(s): Unknown
  • Distinguishing Marks/Features: Kelley has a 1 inch scar on his left knee.
  • Dentals: Available; Dale had perfect teeth. His father is a dentist.
  • Fingerprints: Not available
  • DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items

  • Clothing: He was wearing a yellow tank top, a medium-sized shirt, Brittania jeans and white high-top Converse tennis shoes at the time of his disappearance.
  • Jewelry: Unknown
  • Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Disappearance
Kelley was last seen in Sacramento County, California on May 20, 1981. Kelley was going to drive to Los Angeles, CA to visit his girlfriend. He last spoke with her at 8am that morning. His orange Toyota Celica with California license plate #598TIH was discovered abandoned in New Orleans, Louisiana shortly after he vanished. Foul play is suspected.

Investigating Agency(s)
If you have any information about this case please contact;

  • Agency Name: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
  • Agency Contact Person: Deputy Paige Kneeland
  • Agency Phone Number: 916-874-5066
  • Agency Case Number: 81-41416
  • NCIC Case Number: M018778968
  • Namus Number: MP # 5667

Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Information Source(s)

I have sent Dale in to the proper investigating agency to check and see if he could be Snake River John Doe.  My hope is not only that he is identified, but that his murderer (if still alive) will be apprehended as a result of continuing the investigation.

Do you think Dale could be Snake River John Doe?  I am pretty confident it could be a match, but you never know.  It is a crazy world we live in.