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Thread: Florida Police Seek To ID Deceased Hiker Known As "Mostly Harmless" & "Denim"

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Florida Police Seek To ID Deceased Hiker Known As "Mostly Harmless" & "Denim"

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/flo...814-story.html


    Hiker found dead went by 'Denim' and 'Mostly Harmless' on the trail, but investigators don't know his real name

    Investigators say he used the trail names "Denim" and "Mostly Harmless," but that they do not know his real name.


    Authorities in Collier County, Florida, say they believe this is the man who was found dead in a tent in Big Cypress National Preserve on July 23, 2018. Investigators say he used the trail names "Denim" and "Mostly Harmless," but that they do not know his real name. (Collier County Sheriff's Office)





    They believe they know his aliases, his nicknames. What he looks like. They just don?t know who he is.

    After a hiker was found dead in a tent in Big Cypress National Preserve on July 23, investigators deployed ?advanced forensic technologies? and followed up on several leads, the Collier County Sheriff?s Office said on Facebook.

    They determined that the man?s death wasn?t suspicious, and that he had most likely died within a few days of his body being found.

    They learned that he used the names ?Denim? and ?Mostly Harmless? on the trail. He also used the name ?Ben Bilemy? at hostels that he had checked into in Virginia, Georgia and Florida.

    They obtained photographs of a man with a salt-and-pepper beard, and believe the man in the photographs is the person who was found dead.

    But they still don?t know his actual identity.

    ?At this time we are looking for his identity or information from those who knew him or know of his family,? the sheriff?s office said in a Facebook post on Monday.


    Investigators were trying to learn the identity of a hiker found dead in Collier County, Florida, on July 23, 2018. (Collier County Sheriff's Office)

    According to the Collier County Sheriff?s Office, the man was found dead by other hikers on July 23 at Nobles Camp, about five miles north of the rest stop at Mile Marker 63 on Interstate 75, also known as Alligator Alley.


    In a bid to identify the man, investigators issued a bulletin seeking information from the public. That bulletin featured a composite image.

    The bulletin said the man had been between 35 and 50 years old, that he had a salt and pepper beard and hair, that his teeth were in excellent condition, and that he had been wearing a beige shirt and green shorts, and black Salomon hiking boots.

    Investigators were trying to learn the identity of a hiker found dead in Collier County, Florida, on July 23, 2018. (Collier County Sheriff's Office)
    He was found in a yellow, two-person Brooks-Range Mountaineering Foray-model tent, the sheriff?s office said.

    Tips came in, and so did the photos, after the bulletin went out.

    The Naples Daily News reported that the photos came from hikers who believe they met the man on the Appalachian and Florida trails.

    The Daily News also reported that investigators believe the man might?ve had connections to New York and Louisiana.

    He might have worked in the tech industry, investigators said.

    Investigators were trying to learn the identity of a hiker found dead in Collier County, Florida, on July 23, 2018. (Collier County Sheriff's Office)

    In an update on Monday, investigators said they did searches on the name Ben Bilemy, but found no matches.

    ?What we need most from the public is info on the name of the hiker known as Denim and Mostly Harmless so that his family can be notified and lay their loved one to rest,? the sheriff?s office said.

    Investigators were asking Facebook users to share their posts about the hiker and to call the Collier County Sheriff?s Office at 239-252-9300 if they have any info.


  2. #2
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Edit : nvm, I don't even read my own posts properly this week





    https://www.facebook.com/colliersher...01693019890471
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by blighted star; 08-15-2018 at 09:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    I check in on this case frequently over on WS. I can't believe they really aren't any closer to ID'ing him at this point.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I check in on this case frequently over on WS. I can't believe they really aren't any closer to ID'ing him at this point.
    Wow, that's crazy. And they even have a photo of him! Can't believe no one has recognized him in two years.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.dnasolves.com/articles/big_cypress_remains

    Nearly two years ago, July 23rd, 2018, two hikers found a deceased male hiker in a tent at the Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County, Florida. The cause of death is unclear, and investigators have struggled to identify the decedent. He was not found with a driver's license, cell phone, credit card, or other identifying information. His only possessions were notebooks, hiking gear, and cash. His fingerprints do not match in government databases and he has yet to match a missing persons case. Investigators have confirmed the decedent had no tattoos, scars, or medical implants that would aid with identification. Bulletins featuring sketches and photos have been released, but to date he is unidentified.

    The decedent has multiple aliases, including his trail name “Mostly Harmless”, “Ben Bilemy”, and “Denim”. At the time of death, he was presumed to be between the ages of 35-50 years old, with gray hair and beard, blue eyes, and teeth in excellent condition. He was estimated to be 5’8, weighing about 83 pounds.

    Identification is further complicated by the decedent’s use of aliases and cash. For example, he appears to have checked into Top of Georgia Hostel and Hiking Center in the fall of 2017 but did so under the name “Ben Bilemy”. He paid for items using cash and didn’t leave any contact information. Other hikers met the decedent in 2017 and 2018, but none of them are aware of his true identity.

    The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is working with Othram to use advanced DNA testing and forensic genealogy to establish an identification of, or to find nearest kin to the decedent. Anyone with information about the decedent is encouraged to contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300. A fund has been established to cover the costs of testing for this case. Those wishing to contribute can contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office or contribute here. This case is logged in NamUs as UP51453.

    About Othram Inc.
    Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Our scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace amounts of degraded or contaminated materials. We are passionate about developing and deploying new genomic technologies in dedicated forensic environments. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram to learn how we can help you with your case. Visit dnasolves.com to learn how anyone can make a difference in helping solve the next cold case.
    https://dnasolves.com/

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    What do you care? Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    "5’8, weighing about 83 "

    Either that's a typo or he was extremely malnourished. I'm not that surprised that he's still not been identified. It seems like he lived as a homeless person, but with some money here and there. Probably doing odd jobs for cash. The people that hired him paid him under the table and never new his real name.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  7. #7
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Babe 73 View Post
    "5’8, weighing about 83 "

    Either that's a typo or he was extremely malnourished. I'm not that surprised that he's still not been identified. It seems like he lived as a homeless person, but with some money here and there. Probably doing odd jobs for cash. The people that hired him paid him under the table and never new his real name.
    It's not a typo, he starved to death. He was found with roughly $4000 in cash in his belongings. His autopsy didn't really show any health reason for him to starve to death, so some people think he committed suicide that way, or had a severe eating disorder. He had told people on the trail that he was a computer programmer.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    It's not a typo, he starved to death. He was found with roughly $4000 in cash in his belongings. His autopsy didn't really show any health reason for him to starve to death, so some people think he committed suicide that way, or had a severe eating disorder. He had told people on the trail that he was a computer programmer.
    Whaaat?!

    That requires a level of dedication I simply don't possess.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Whaaat?!

    That requires a level of dedication I simply don't possess.
    You and me both.

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    What do you care? Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    Holy crap. That's insane!
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  11. #11
    Member Lena Norbert's Avatar
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    Although he starved himself to death, the weight could account for post-mortem changes, being as how he died in Florida in July. Even a few days in those conditions can mean significant changes (I don't want to get too gruesome).

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    Member Lena Norbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lena Norbert View Post
    Although he starved himself to death, the weight could account for post-mortem changes, being as how he died in Florida in July. Even a few days in those conditions can mean significant changes (I don't want to get too gruesome).
    I should say, the weight could also be accounted for by post mortem changes.

  13. #13
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    They have met their funding goal.

    https://dnasolves.com/articles/big_cypress_remains

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    I am so glad. I hope they find out who he is. He was small at eight three pounds and 5'8". Guess it could be for many reasons.

  15. #15
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terps1990 View Post
    I am so glad. I hope they find out who he is. He was small at eight three pounds and 5'8". Guess it could be for many reasons.
    He wasn't always small. If you google him and look back over the pics he definitely lost weight while on the hike, but he was a normal weight. His COD was basically that he starved to death, but they couldn't find any reason why he would have starved to death...so the thought is that he did it intentionally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    He wasn't always small. If you google him and look back over the pics he definitely lost weight while on the hike, but he was a normal weight. His COD was basically that he starved to death, but they couldn't find any reason why he would have starved to death...so the thought is that he did it intentionally.
    I googled. You're right he had some weight. His face looked full. I saw an article where they showed a picture of the tent and a portion of his body. He didnt look like he was decomposing. ( I dont no about the process of decomposition) He looked like his belly was concave with his hip bones and ribs protruding. The article mentioned some people thought he had knee problems and maybe he couldn't get up to eat. That seems a little unbelievable. I have heard on the trail you could go days without seeing someone but I would think if your having a problem you would scream out for someone. I hope they find someone who loved him.

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://soundcloud.com/ccso-media-re...te-august-2020

    In this episode of Sworn Statement, we answer some commonly asked questions about forensic genealogy after the agency announced it would be partnering with Othram labs to use this technology in the case of the deceased hiker known as Mostly Harmless.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Thanks for this, I downloaded it. I'll listen tonight as I drift off to sleep.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Thanks, wolf.

  20. #20
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    It gets kind of technical in the middle part, but it's an interesting read on this case and forensic DNA.

    https://www.genengnews.com/insights/...c-dna-methods/

    Cold Cases Heat Up with New Forensic DNA Methods

  21. #21
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Ok, I am giving everyone an assignment for the weekend. I REALLY want to talk this case out with someone over here, because I have some issues with the timeline, but I need someone else who has fallen down this rabbit hole and can either back me up or tell me I am wrong. Don't make me go over and play with the peeps at WS anymore than I already have.

    If you look at all the known sightings and timelines they all seem to make sense....except one. The person that supposedly saw him at Pine Log State Forest, FL on February 24, 2018 doesn't work for me. I put all the other sightings into the map (I will post my map later), and they make sense except this one. He was supposedly hiking approximately 10 miles a day, and every other sighting fits this 10 mile a day trek, but for him to have been seen at Pine Log State Forest on this date he would have had to backtrack 129 miles in 2 days, something he hadn't done before from what I can see, and then walk about 320 miles in 21 days to be at his next location of Paisley FL on March 17, 2018, which again doesn't seem possible.

    So you might say that's not really a big deal, that the person at Pine Log State Forest is mistaken (which I concur with), but this is the person that floated the story about the sister in Sarasota or Ft Meyers, and said that he told her that he had health issues and wanted to do this hike while he still could. This is the theory that so many people have run with, but I think this person had the wrong hiker, or just made it up, and to me this changes everything. He hiked with one older lady for quite a while on the AT, and he never told her anything like this. I have trouble believing that he told this to someone he just met. I think she met someone else and is confusing that person with MH.

    If you go with the idea that he had a terminal illness, you could say that it ran its course before he was able to finish, but if the health story isn't about him, then you have to wonder did something catastrophic happen and he got stuck and starved to death or something like that? The autopsy found nothing wrong with him and everyone has been theorizing that they missed something...but maybe they were right. Maybe he got depressed and truly starved himself to death, or maybe he got lost and accidentally starved to death, or maybe it was a small injury that occurred and healed enough not to be seen on an autopsy, but in the meantime he starved so much that he couldn't make it to help.

    I also think he made it to Big Cypress later than the April 15th date commonly assumed. From his last known location (Paisley)to BC is over 600 miles, even if he didn't go around Lake Okeechobee, which is common with people hiking the FT and adds almost another 60 miles. Assuming 10 miles a day would take him until June. I don't believe he laid in one place for 3+ months, more like a month or so at most. A couple of people said they saw his tent in the campground, but not him, however I am thinking it was during the time that I think he would have been there June-July. I will have to double check that because I have only seen it once or twice, and I am not even sure how reliable it is. There is a video of two guys in the same area on June 1st, 2018, and I don't see anyone else at the campground.

  22. #22
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    This video is taken from a drone and shows the area around where he was found. The campground he was actually found at is shown around the 2:07 mark.



    Liv's site has a lot of good info and pics, as well as the commonly accepted timeline:

    https://truecrimesociety.com/2019/08...stly-harmless/
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 09-05-2020 at 06:29 PM.

  23. #23
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    This is a map of the Florida Trail:

    https://floridahikes.com/the-florida-trail-guide


    Here is the general route I think he took, based on pictures and eyewitnesses that have verifiable stories. It's not an exact path because Google Maps isn't using the Florida Trail for most of it, but that's why I posted the map above so that you can kind of correlate the general places he was and where he went with the actual trail that he used:



    If you are to believe the person who says she saw him in Pine Log State Forest on Feb 24th, then you would have to believe that he walked from Crestview (Jan 24th-this is where he met the person who was able to "ID" him with his trail name to law enforcement after seeing the composite photo made from the death photos, so this is a believable witness, plus this is where the pic was taken of him holding the sticker that Blighted posted in the first post. This witness gave him that sticker.) to Monticello (Feb 22-multiple witnesses and they told the correct story of him not having a cell phone or FT app and therefore being worried about him and giving him super detailed directions, this is also a believable encounter) and then turned around and went back to Pine Log State Forest (Feb 24th) and then turned back around and headed back towards Monticello and on to Paisley (March 17th-the pic below was taken then).



    I don't know why my map pics are so small, but you can click on them and it will enlarge them.

    Paisley pic:


    ETA: so supposedly one of the last pics was taken by Mike Gormley on April 13, 2018 in the general area where he was found, so maybe he was there that long, and two different sets of campers (one of them the video above) claim to have seen his tent at the 1st of June and around the 1st of July.
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 09-05-2020 at 09:03 PM.

  24. #24
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    This is a conversation between one of the guys who was on the June 1st video camping at Nobles Campground, and another guy who was there near the 1st of July. Too bad they didn't actually check on him, but I get wanting to give someone their space. The Armando guy is some kind of author and inspirational speaker.



    https://www.facebook.com/armandocruz3/photos

    https://www.facebook.com/justin.sorrenti.3

    NAMUS: https://www.namus.gov/UnidentifiedPe...ase#/51453?nav

    Collier County Sheriff's Office podcasts on this case:
    https://soundcloud.com/ccso-media-re...ment-episode-1
    https://soundcloud.com/ccso-media-re...ment-episode-2
    https://soundcloud.com/ccso-media-re...ment-episode-3
    https://soundcloud.com/ccso-media-re...date-july-2020
    https://soundcloud.com/ccso-media-re...te-august-2020
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 09-06-2020 at 06:36 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    I'm not going to copy pasta all of your points, but I agree 100%. The 24 February Pine Log Forest sighting is a case of mistaken identity (or someone trying to inject themselves into the case for whatever reason people do that kind of stuff). My guess is mistaken identity. That woman wanted it to be MH.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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