Det. Don Farago with the Taylor, Mich. Police Department tells AMW that after nearly four months of trying to track down this John Doe's identity, they've finally done just that.
The man, who they've determined to be Brian Rice, 49, was positively identified by his brother, who heard about the case after it was aired on a local news broadcast in October 2008.
The heavy decomposition of Brian's body made it hard for cops and the medical examiner to identify, but his brother provided them with enough information to get a positive match.
He informed police that Brian had enrolled in U.S. Army Boot Camp in the early 1980s and police figured his medical records were still on file.
Their presumptions were correct.
After submitting a request to the Army for his dental records, the results came back as a positive match.
Det. Farago learned that Brian had two brothers, one of whom he lived with, and who supported him all his life.
From what they've learned, Brian was not entirely homeless, but he never really held a steady job or had a place of his own.
The last time Brian's brother heard from him was on August 15, 2008.
Four days later, Brian's body was found behind the Target store in Taylor, Mich.
When his brother came forward in October 2008 and provided police with Brian's information, they tried finding his fingerprints in the house they shared, but were unsuccessful.
However, Det. Farago remembered that a set of keys was found with the body. When he tried using the keys to get into their house where he was suspected of staying -- the lock opened with ease.
It was at that point that cops knew deep down that their case was coming to a close.
Weeks later, they received word that the teeth were a match for those of Brian Rice, and they were finally able to provide a small sense of closure to his family, who had been wondering about his whereabouts for the better part of four long and trying months.