Identity of John Doe from 1988 revealed

Medical examiner Patrice Hall addresses the media. At left is Sheriff David Beth. Visible behind Hall is a Sheriff’s Department bulletin from 1988 with an artist rendering of the John Doe and at right is a photo of Robert Lynn Schwartz from when he was in prison in California.

The identity of a man found in a shallow grave near I-94 in 1988 was revealed by Sheriff David Beth and Medical Examiner Patrice Hall at a news conference Wednesday in Kenosha.

The badly decomposed body found by a surveying crew in 1988 was revealed as belonging to Robert Lyle Schwartz. Schwartz was not a local person and family identified him as a con man, Hall said.

Schwartz is believed to have been strangled in a parking structure at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago before his body was left in Kenosha County, Beth said.

“it’s taken us 31 years to put a name to a body, a John Doe,” Beth said.

The identification was made possible by a new fingerprint technique developed by the FBI, Hall said.

“Putting names to John Does is a passion of mine, and it’s been immensely gratifying to bring this case to fruition,” Hall said. “This would not have happened without effective collaboration between my office, the Sheriff’s Department, NamUs and the State Crime Lab. I thank them all for their efforts.”

Here is video of the news conference:

Medical Examiner Patrice Hall and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth today announced the identity of the suspect in a John Doe homicide case from 1988. It was the body of Robert Lyle Schwartz, who was believed to have been murdered in Chicago after flying in from the California area, that was found alongside the present-day Highway 165 in Pleasant Prairie in July 1988. New fingerprint technology enabled us to make the positive identification. Learn more here:

Posted by Kenosha County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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