Detectives knew him only as "Victim C."
He had no name, no date of birth, nothing to help identify him -- until America's Most Wanted teamed up with the Fort Myers, Fla. police department in an attempt to find out who "C" and seven other men were.
Thanks to DNA and an active family member, Fort Myers police confirmed the identity of "Victim C" as missing drifter Jonathon Tihay. He was about 25 years old when he vanished in 1995 or 1996; his family said he was a drifter without a solid job who somehow wandered from Illinois to Fort Myers, where he once had lived.
The mystery began on March 23, 2007, when an ecologist surveying a five-acre tract of land off Arcadia Street in Fort Myers stumbled across a skull. At first, the surveyor thought the skull was the remains of a small animal, but upon closer examination, he determined the skull was human.
Nearby, he found another skull and promptly called police.
Police, cadaver dogs and renowned forensic anthropologist Heather Walsh Haney scoured the tract for more bones and clues.
When it was all said and done, the experts discovered eight male bodies and a total of 1,600 bones.
The victims were dubbed the "Fort Myers Eight."
Detectives had no clue as to who the men were, if they were victims of a murder or some sort of cult, but it appeared to be a mass grave of some sort.
America's Most Wanted went to work with Heather, who developed eight separate profiles and created eight individual clay busts.
Heather had hoped the creations would give each set of bones a face and an image, in hopes of identifying the men.
And so far, it's worked.
Six months after the discovery of the bones, experts identified the skeletal remains of "Victim D" as John Blevins, and skeletal remains "E" as Erik Kohler. A year and a half later, "C" has been confirmed as Jonathon Tihay.
All were resolved through DNA and cooperative relatives.
In Jonathan's case, a woman in Fort Myers saw the AMW broadcast on the Fort Myers Eight case
She remembered her friend, Natalie Worthington in Illinois, who had a half-brother go missing more than a decade ago.
The Florida woman called Natalie, and Natalie called AMW and Fort Myers detectives.
Detectives flew to Illinois, and AMW was there when they interviewed Natalie and swabbed her mouth for DNA.
Natalie told detectives that Jonathon broke his wrist in a football game as a teenager, which matched the profile of skeletal remains "C."
This eerie similarity convinced cops that they may be on the right track.
It was a let-down for the detectives when the swab from Natalie came back negative from a Texas DNA lab.
So, detectives went a step further and asked for hair or DNA from Jonathon's mother, who had passed away a few months earlier.
Natalie found her mother's hairbrush, and finally, their hunch paid off: a Florida lab came back with positive results confirming "C's" identity.
Now, cops want to identify the remaining five men, as well as search for the killer. "We are not zeroing in on any one person at this time," Fort Myers Det. Barry Lewis said.
Police have not released a cause of death for the men because it remains an open and active investigation.
Detectives remain hopeful someone will come forward with information about the killer and more clues to help identity skeletal remains of Victims A, B, F, G and H.