The Somerton man is a cold case from the ’40s is being solved with modern technology. His body has been exhumed at an Australian cemetery in an effort to get more information on the mysterious figure.
In the December of 1948, the body of who would eventually be called the Somerton man was found. The body was found in South Australia on Somerton Beach. Currently, the circumstances of his death remain a mystery.
Currently, the case is being handled by the Major Crime Investigation Branch. The body was exhumed with the help of detectives at West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide.
Under police escort, four men carried the remains out of the cemetery. Now the body has been moved to Forensic Science SA as experts attempt to build a DNA profile.
At the site of the grave, South Australia Police Detective Superintendent Des Bray told reporters about how much this case meant. “It’s important for everybody to remember the Somerton man is not just a curiosity or a mystery to be solved. It’s somebody’s father, son, perhaps grandfather, uncle or brother, and that’s why we’re doing this and trying to identify him there are people we know that live in Adelaide, they believe they may be related,” he said. “And they deserve to have a definitive answer.”
This will bring the answer to a long mysterious case dating back to 1948. In 1948 when the body was discovered. The mystery of the case came once they examined the body. On the body, there were no signs of violence or a struggle, all the labels were cut off his clothes, and he had no ID on him.
Even more interesting than that is that the autopsy was not able to determine the exact cause of death, yet three medical witnesses testified that it was not natural. Detectives assumed that he may have consumed a rare poison that would quickly kill someone before disappearing with a trace. There was no poison in his system.
“I think the immediate cause of death was heart failure, but I am unable to say what factor caused heart failure,” said Robert Cowan, a government chemical analyst who examined samples taken from the body.
The Somerton man’s appearance was such of a well-built 40 to 50-year-old. Standing at five foot 11 inches tall with grey-blue eyes and gingery-brow hair that had some grey on the sides.
Pathologist John Cleland noted: “Many people who find their way to the morgue have toenails which are dirty and unattended to. His were clean. “His calf muscles were particularly pronounced, said Paul Lawson, a taxidermist who was asked to embalm the body. “His feet were rather striking features, suggesting … he had been in the habit of wearing high-heeled and pointed shoes,” Lawson said. “(His) calf muscle was high and well developed, such as found in women.”
Theories have varied from him being a dancer to a spy. Whatever his background is still very much up in the air. One thing that is known about the man is that coat that had the tag cut off was American make.
The tailor hired to help was quoted as saying ““He had either been in America or bought the clothes off someone who had been there. Such clothes are not imported.,”
Whatever the case may be soon many new answers will come to light. When the lab is done running DNA sequencing and more in-depth DNA databases.