Belt buckle helps police ID murder victim from Florida cold case from 1985

A 35-year-old ‘John Doe’ homicide cold case from Florida has had a new lead due to the identification on a belt buckle.

A person, whose identity has not been revealed to the public, was looking for their missing uncle and was checking cold cases two years ago on the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office website. They read about the discovery of the remains of a murder victim in January 1985.

“The thing that stuck out to the person the most was the victim’s belt buckle, with the hand engraved initials ‘W.T.’” said officials on Thursday. “The person felt this could have been their missing uncle, whose last known location was in Escambia County near the same time John Doe’s body was discovered.”

Accordingly, investigators compared John Doe’s DNA to the DNA of the person who gave the tip and this produced a match.

“The results of the test revealed John Doe was actually William Ernest Thompson,” the officials stated.

The victim was 49 when his body was discovered, without identification, in Pensacola. It was believed that he may have been killed months or even years previously.

He was last in touch with his family in September 1983. He spoke to his mother on the phone.

No missing person report was filed upon his disappearance.

This identification means that the case will be reopened and investigators will be looking for the perpetrator of the murder.

Chip Simmons, the Chief Deputy Sheriff reported, “This is another example of the never-ending quest for justice. While we haven’t yet solved the homicide. It is a step forward and can give the family some closure until the case is solved.”