Ode to Doe: Benton County John Doe

A fisherman found the body of a man floating along the shore of  Beaver Lake in Rogers, Arkansas on October 16, 1996. The body of the man was wrapped in a Dupont sleeping bag, and floating in shallow water. Police believe that the body may have been originally weighted down, but broke free and washed to shore. The remote area is overlooked by steep cliffs and dense woods, making it a difficult place to get to. This means the body must have been dumped in another location or brought to the scene by boat.

The body found was that of a middle-aged white male in the range thirty and sixty years old. He would have stood between five feet nine inches to five feet eleven inches tall. He was likely a heavy laborer in life, his right arm showing signs of an injury called myositis ossificians. Myositis ossificians usually occurs during hard work or play due to a traumatic injury. The trauma then leads to a growth of bone within muscle tissues. As well, his teeth were found to be stained, liking being a coffee drinker, or a smoker. A left bottom tooth had been removed prior to his death, and a he’d gotten a filling on his a lower right tooth. Also notable was the significant amount of wear to his front bottom teeth. Along with the sleeping bag he’d been discovered in, two deteriorated pillows belonging to a medical facility and the remnants of white boxer shorts and a single white sock were the only clothing to be found. The briefs were Fruit of the Loom  brand, size small.

He is believed to have died from blunt force trauma to the left side of his forehead. Unfortunately for investigators, it is believed that the John Doe may have died as early as 1995. One year before his discovery along the rocky shore of Beaver Lake. His body was badly decomposed and the water had long washed away any evidence.

This hard working man likely has a family, still desperately wondering where he could be. They deserve closure. If you have any details regarding the case, or think you may know the identity of this John Doe, contact the Benton County Sheriff Department at


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