Description of “John Mebane Doe”
Location: Found in Mebane, Orange County, NC
Race: White or possibly Hispanic
Hair: Patches of dark brown hair could be seen near the skull
Height/Weight: Believed to have been around 4’11” tall, weighing approximately 50 pounds
Estimated Age: Medical examiners believe he was between 8 to 11 years old.
Estimated Time of Death: It is believed that he has been deceased sometime in the Spring or Summer of 1998
Clothing: Partially clothed wearing a pair of underwear, khaki shorts, black and white sneakers and white socks
Note: Keep in mind that the estimated age, height, weight, race, etc, are approximations and could be slightly inaccurate. The height might be a couple of inches off as well as the weight. The actual age might be a year younger (7) or a year older (12).
On the afternoon of September 25, 1998 a crew were mowing grass around a billboard off of Industrial Drive in Mebane, North Carolina, approximately 70 yards from Interstate 40. One crew member noticed something lying near the edge of the wooded area and upon further inspection he realized it was the deceased body of an unidentified child. The child, a boy, was partially clothed and had a $50 dollar bill tucked away in his pocket.
It’s been fourteen years since that Summer day yet nobody has come forward with an identity or to claim the remains.
Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office dubbed the little boy, “John Mebane Doe”.
The death was ruled undetermined but probable homicide. His legs were together and the arms were slightly extended above the head. Police believe the child died somewhere else and was later brought to the location where he was found.
“The bones were not as you might envision, all connected. Things had disarticulated and fallen away,” explained Tim Horn, an investigator from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators have been working on this case for over a decade. They’ve passed the story on to local media, Doe Network as well as other online databases, checked schools, churches, the national database for missing children, etc, but have so far turned up empty. Surely someone knows this boy or at least met him sometime during his childhood. Theres a good possibility that he is from out of State, maybe even out of the US. However, until his identity is known he will remain in a small box at the Chapel Hill’s Medical Examiners Office.
John Mebane Doe would be in his twenties today had he still been alive. Do you know somebody from your childhood who matches the description and suddenly went missing?
If you have any information regarding this case you’re urged to please contact:
Orange County Sheriff’s Office (919) 644-3050.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
All calls are kept confidential.