May 24th, 2010

Real life mystery playing out in Oregon

It sounds like something from a mystery novel, but it’s real life. In 1996, a man assumed the identity of a murdered child. He now refuses to reveal his real name. “Oregon man officials now call John Doe, for he will not say what he was called at birth. He only uses the name he assumed in 1996 while living in Colorado. Under Ohio's public records law, Doe obtained a birth certificate for a boy born in January 1979 to Bob and Kim Evers of Cincinnati.” That child was kidnapped in front of his six-year-old sister, and then found murdered.

When contacted by law enforcement officials, the family was tormented by what ifs, wondering if he had chosen to assume Jason's name for a reason. “How, of all the names in the world, did this guy end up with Jason's? Maybe he knows Williams. Maybe, somehow, we know him. Then Ron gave voice to the most tantalizing theory of all. "Right away, when they say that, there's a glimmer of hope: Maybe someone stole Jason, and then he grew up to be Jason.”

So who is the mystery man? Why did he change his identity 14 years ago? So far know one knows, and he won't say. He seems to have led a law-abiding life in the interim.

Read more here.

Officials say he might go by “Smiley,” and “He might be a master chess player with an above-average IQ. He might have an East Coast accent and speak "street Spanish." And his mother may be dead, his father in prison.” More clues about who he is.

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