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Moss Point John Doe found during Delta Dawn search identified

This family photo released to Othram shows the unidentified person found under I-10 in Jackson...
This family photo released to Othram shows the unidentified person found under I-10 in Jackson County in 1982 shows as Gary Simpson, born in 1962, originally from the Louisiana Area.(Othram)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A man found dead in Jackson County nearly 40 years ago has finally been identified.

On Dec. 8, 1982, human remains belonging to a young African American man were found in the Escatawpa River underneath the eastbound lane of Interstate 10 in Jackson County.

The remains were located by divers, who were searching the river after a female toddler was found deceased in the area days earlier.

Although the remains for both victims were found at the same time, investigators later determined that the deaths were not related.

The unidentified person has now been identified as Gary Simpson, born in 1962, originally from the Louisiana area.

The young man’s remains were collected by the State Crime Lab, where his death was ruled a homicide. His identity remained a mystery for 40 years, until Jackson County investigators, with assistance from Othram, were able to identify a close relative of the young man.

Retired investigator Matthew Hoggatt, who assists the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Othram with cold case investigations, contacted a family relative and arranged the collection of swabs for DNA comparison to be sent to Othram.

After testing the relative’s DNA, Othram confirmed that the relative was a biological sibling of the young man.

The female toddler, formerly known as Mississippi Delta Dawn, was identified as Alisha Ann Heinrich in December 2020 by Jackson County investigators and scientists at Othram.

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