Unidentified White Male "Mr Bones" Found October 9, 1958 in a wooded area near Bedford, Bedford County.
Vital Statistics Estimated Age: 30 to 35 years old Estimated Height: 6'4" plus or minus 2" Estimated Weight: 200 lbs, "robust build" Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Unknown State of Remains: Skeletal Estimated Time of Death: 6 months to a year, possibly longer. DNA: Available Dentals: Available, gold dental work. Other: One plastic contact lens Clothing: Heavy black leather "motorcycle" jacket, black leather engineer-type boots, blue denim pants with wide black leather belt, white t-shirt, jockey type shorts, gray wool socks with red top. Items Found With Remains: A 30-06 Springfield rifle with one bullet fired from it and two left in the chamber; three boxes of ammunition; sleeping bag or bed roll, backpack; spare underwear; towels, mess kit and shaving kit; wallet with $23 in it; heavy brass key with "Active 195 Avenue A" stamped on it, brand name "Unger"; three books - "100 Modern Poems", "Reading Poems" and "Science and the Modern World".
Case Details On Thursday, October 9, 1958, shortly after sunrise, a maintenance foreman for the Sun Pipeline Company and his crew of four men were clearing brush from a pipeline right-of-way that runs through the Chalybeate area of Bedford, about a 1/2 mile from the PA Turnpike's north Midway Plaza.
The foreman stumbled upon the worn and weathered skeleton of a man who has come to be known affectionately as "Mr Bones". His remains were scattered along a ravine, possibly due to a stream that runs through the ravine. Many of his bones were held together by the clothes he wore. His possessions were found nearby. It was estimated that he lay there for at least 6 to 8 months, possibly longer.
There was no apparent means of transportation. A car that had been abandoned on the turnpike around the time that Mr Bones died was determined not to be associated with him, so how he got to where he was found remains a mystery. His camping equipment, including a mess kit, appeared to be new but there were no eating utensils and no indication that he had brought food supplies.
Cause of death was a gunshot wound that shattered his skull, but whether it was an accident, suicide or homicide remains unknown. Investigators learned that the rifle had been shipped to a store in Fort Wayne, IN in 1938 but there were no records indicating who had purchased the gun.
Investigators believed the man to be somewhat well-off because of his gold dental work and a single plastic contact lens - a rare item at that time. The lens was traced to a manufacturer in Chicago and was fitted by an Illinois doctor, but no records exist indicating who purchased the lenses. It is not believed that he was native to the Bedford area.
Please click on the images below for an enlarged view
Above: the blue jeans, mess kit, back pack and rifle case.
The images of the books were found on the internet and may not be an exact representation of those found in Mr Bones' possession.
In June 1959, it was erroneously reported that Mr Bones had been laid to rest in the cemetery at the Bedford County Home in a grave marked "Unidentified Remains", however, in the 50+ years since he was found, he and his possessions have remained in a cardboard barrel at the county jail.
If you have any information about this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police Troop G
Tpr David Clemens 814-696-6100
Bedford County Coroner's Office
Sources NamUs The Doe Network Pittsburgh Post-Gazette NewspaperArchive.com Huntingdon Daily News Bedford Gazette