Using cutting-edge DNA technology, the identity of a corpse found in 1986 half submerged and weighed down by cinder blocks in a lake close to Conroe, Texas, has been confirmed.
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, several individuals in Conroe on August 3, 1986, spotted a half-submerged corpse in Crater Lake.
When deputies arrived, they discovered the victim was tied to two cement cinder blocks using an electrical cord.
The identity of the male victim remained a mystery to police. An autopsy confirmed that he died from several gunshot wounds. He was a White male in his twenties, around 5 feet 6 inches tall, 133 pounds, with a small frame, collar length reddish brown hair, rotting teeth, and tattoos—one reading “Liz” and the other reading “Baby Dawn”—on his left and right arms.
The victim wore a blue denim shirt, brown 30-inch waist pants, and white sports socks. He also had his left ear lobe pierced.
In 2015, cold case investigators exhumed the body and reexamined the victim’s bones to collect DNA. This would allow them to add the sample to the Combined DNA Index System, a database that has profiles of DNA from a variety of sources, including convicted criminals, unsolved crimes, and missing people.
After the analysis, the victim’s identity remained a mystery.
Then, in May 2023, the Othram Lab received additional DNA samples from a second exhumation of the bones that investigators had previously conducted.
While in the lab, they collected more DNA and ran a genealogy check, which led them to find a potential relative in California.
Local law police contacted the family member and, with their consent, took a DNA sample to send to the Othram Lab.
The laboratory reported that the remains did match those of the California relative in October 2023.
The mystery was solved.
The family had been looking for the man for decades. The deceased was Clarence Lynn Wilson, born in 1952 and whose last known residence was in Texas City, Texas.
Authorities are still looking into Wilson’s murder.