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Investigators Work To Identify Unknown Teen Boy Found Dead In Trabuco Canyon In 1996

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Orange County Sheriff's investigators Tuesday released a new sketch in the hopes of identifying a teen John Doe whose body was found in Trabuco Canyon nearly 24 years ago.

Investigators Work To Identify Unknown Teen Boy Found In Trabuco Canyon In 1996
A sketch of a John Doe whose body was found in Orange County's Trabuco Canyon in 1996. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)

The victim, who is believed to have been between 15 and 19 years of age, was found on Dec. 13, 1996, in the wilderness east of Trabuco Creek Road.

Authorities believe his body had been there for up to two years, the Orange County Sheriff's Department reports.

Earlier this year, the sheriff's department partnered with the nonprofit DNA Doe Project to use genealogical DNA technology to determine that the victim was likely Hispanic or Native American in background and may have been from "a remote area in Latin America," the sheriff's department said Tuesday in a news release.

Investigators have been unable to use familial DNA to try and identify the victim, however, because Latin American populations are "underrepresented in genealogical databases," OCSD said.

A computed tomography scan of his skull was created in order to produce an image speculating what he might have looked like at the time he disappeared.

He was estimated at between 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-8 with a medium build.

Anyone with information on the case should call OCSD at 714-647-7000.

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