On May 28, 2010, federal agents announced that they solved a mysterious John Doe case that started in Oregon just a few weeks earlier.
It all started when the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service arrested a man for identity theft. But things took a mysterious turn when the man refused to tell officials his real name and to make matters worse, the identity he’d allegedly stolen was that of a murdered child.
The case came to light with the help of "Operation Death Match" -- a federal effort to cross-reference passport records with death records. The operation targets thieves who steal from the most helpless victims of all -- the deceased.
Department officials say the mysterious "John Doe" stole the name and identity of Jason Evers -- a boy who was kidnapped and murdered when he was just 3 years old. In 1982, Jason and his sister Amy were playing outside in Cincinnati, Ohio. Though it was nearly 30 years ago, Amy vividly remembers the moment when 17-year-old Adrian Williams approached them.
"He offered us piggy back rides," she said. "I said 'No.' My brother said 'yes' and jumped on."
Amy never saw her brother again. A month later, cops found Jason's body in the woods, hidden under huge slabs of concrete. Williams was later charged and remains in jail. That's why the recent turn of events has completely shocked Amy, along with the rest of her family. In fact, when State Department officials called her in April, she said she thought it was a prank. They told her a man from Idaho had been assuming her brother's identity for years.
"It makes me angry right now," Amy said when the arrest first happened. "Especially because he’s not talking and not giving up information, it makes me wonder."
Federal agents wondered too, and continued to dig until they were able to recover the man's real identity. Although they are still collecting details, they do know the man's real name is Doitchin Krasev.
According to Special Agent in Charge Patrick Durkin, Krasev has ties to multiple states and might even have another alias. Durkin says his team of agents is working to determine Krasev's history. He also hopes to learn why Krasev was so apprehensive about giving up his identity.
To date, the department says Operation Death Match has led to the conviction of more than 120 imposters who steal identities from the deceased. In this case, a cross-check indicated that John Doe was going by the name Jason Evers and had applied for a passport in 2002. Agents became even more suspicious after an Internet search indicated that the real Jason Evers had been kidnapped and murdered decades earlier.