DPS, Tom Green County Sheriff's Office Seek Information About Unidentified Deceased Man

July 24, 2018
Represents the victim's probable appearance at time of death

The above image represents the victim's probable appearance at time of death.

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Tom Green County Sheriff's Office are seeking the public's assistance in identifying a man whose remains were discovered in December 1996 in Tom Green County. Investigators estimate that the man died in the beginning of November 1996. The cause of death is unknown.

On Dec. 2, 1996, the man's body was found in a pasture in the northern part of Tom Green County near the northeast bank of O.C. Fisher Lake. Based on multiple forensic analyses, the man is believed to be Caucasian, although mixed Hispanic descent should not be ruled out.

A DPS Texas Rangers' forensic artist was able to develop a facial reconstruction image (pictured above) from the skull of the decedent. At the time of his death, he was estimated to be between the ages of 28 and 50, and approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall with a slight frame. His hair was medium-brown or possibly red, although its lightened appearance may have been due to sun exposure before the body was discovered. The hairstyle and length depicted in the facial rendering is an exact likeness to the victim's hair at time of death.

A DNA profile has been developed from the bones recovered; however, no connections have been made to any known missing person case. It is possible this man was never officially reported missing.

Items found with the victim's remains include:

  • White socks and Brahma-brand hiking boots (size 7 ½ )
  • Light-blue Levi's-brand 550 relaxed-fit, button-fly jeans with a 31-inch waist, 34-inch length
  • A Roundtree and Yorke-brand burgundy pullover sweatshirt (size large)
  • An open package of GPC-brand cigarettes
  • A green Outdoor Products-brand backpack containing cans of Cougar-brand snuff and assorted toiletries
  • On the outside of the upper flap of the backpack the words, "Wayne Rudd Austin, TX. And damn proud of it!" were handwritten in dark marker. Leads related to Texas men with the name Wayne Rudd, or variations of such, have been explored over the years without positive results.

Law enforcement encourages anyone with a missing relative to submit a familial reference sample of DNA by contacting the agency that investigated their relative's disappearance. The process is simple and free, usually consisting of a simple cheek-swabbing; however, it must be done through a law enforcement agency.

Anyone with information about a person similar to this unknown man's description should contact Lt. Terry Lowe at the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office at 325-655-8111 or the DPS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 800-346-3243.

For more information related to this case or to see additional images of items found with the remains, visit the Missing & Unidentified Persons Clearinghouse web page.

### (HQ 2018-071)