On Sunday, May 18, 1997, the Butler County Coroner responded to a call from the Butler County Sheriff's Office regarding a human body found in the Great Miami River floating south of the Horseshoe Dam in the Canal. The body was that of a white male approximately 5'10" in height, estimated 130-150 pounds in weight, and in a state of severe decomposition. In spite of all efforts by the Butler County Coroner's Office and the Butler County Sheriff's Office, the identity of the person remained unknown for over 23 years. In late 2018, Butler County Coroner's Investigator William E. Havens, D-ABMDI took over the cold case. Working with the DNA Doe Project and using Forensic Genealogy technology, the Coroner's Office was able to identify this individual.
His name is Larry Joe Porter. Mr. Porter was 44 years old at the time of his death and a resident of Dayton, Ohio.
Injuries noted at the autopsy are consistent with a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. However, the cause and manner of death remain undetermined.
Mr. Porter's family has requested their privacy be respected at this time.
"I am proud of the work done by the Coroner's Office and the continued commitment which led to resolution of this long-standing case. We are grateful to have finally identified Mr. Porter and reunited him with his family", stated Mannix.
"Thank you to the numerous agencies that assisted over the years including the Butler County Sheriff's Office; Forensic anthropologist Elizabeth Murray, PhD; Ohio Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); University of North Texas Center for Human ID (UNTCHI); the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and the DNA Doe Project for their efforts to provide identification of unidentified persons."
In 2019, the Butler County Coroner's Office and the DNA Doe Project identified Darlene Norcross whose skeletal remains were discovered in West Chester in 2015.
While Mr. Porter's identity has been positively established, the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown. if anyone has information regarding Mr. Porter, please contact Detective Joe Ventre at the Butler County Sheriff's Office at 513-785-1239, or JVentre@butlersheriff.org , or the Butler County Coroner's office at CoronerTips@butlercountyohio.org .
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