A preliminary dental comparison shows that the unidentified John Doe is not a match with Roger Ellison, according to the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office.
DNA test results are still pending.
Dental records from a forensic exam conducted in 1986 on unidentified human remains found in a wooded area near Clear Creek in northern Chaffee County were compared to Ellison’s dental records.
“I took it to a local dentist … and he said that is absolutely not the same,” said Chaffee County Det. Sgt. Andy Rohrich.
Rohrich said he decided to reopen the John Doe investigation after doing some research. While in the process of resubmitting evidence for DNA testing at the state crime lab, he was contacted by Det. Luke Fedler from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office. Fedler was working the Roger Ellison case which had striking similarities to the John Doe.
Ellison disappeared from Cedaredge High School on February 10, 1981. His body has never been recovered.
Hunters found human remains on September 10, 1981 in the Granite area located 90 miles east of Cedaredge. More human remains were found in the same general area in 1986. A clay reconstruction of the John Doe bears a striking resemblance to Ellison.
A cause of death was never determined.
“There was nothing at all on the remains that showed any signs of trauma,” said Rohrich.
Three cartridge shell casings from a 30-06 rifle found near the second set of bones is suspicious, but could be explained by the fact that the area is frequented by hunters, he said.
To complicate matters, lab technicians were unable to recover any usable DNA samples from some of the bones that were recovered. DNA testing is still being done on clothing scraps that were found nearby.
“It’s possible that it’s the same, but we may never know,” said Rohrich.
If you have information on the John Doe, you are urged to contact Detective Andy Rohrich at the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office. The phone number is 719.530.5729.
Breaking News: 2/10/09
Delta County authorities are waiting on DNA test results and a dental comparison to see if the John Doe in Chaffee County is a match with Roger Ellison. The teen mysteriously disappeared from Cedaredge High School on February 10, 1981.
The skeletal remains were found by two hunters on September 10, 1981 in a wooded area near Clear Creek in northern Chaffee County located in central Colorado on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains.
In 1986, more bones were found by geologists working in the area. A forensic pathologist determined that the two sets of bones most likely belonged to the same person. Three cartridge shell casings from a 30-06 rifle were also found near the second set of bones, but it’s unclear whether the shell casings are connected to the body.
Meanwhile, a check of missing person cases in Chaffee County during the time period in question turned up no cases. Colorado reported 239 homicides statewide in 1981, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics.
If you have information on the disappearance of Roger Ellison, you are urged to contact Detective Luke Fedler at the Delta County Sheriff’s Office. The phone number is 970.874.2000.