IDENTIFIED: Stacyville John Doe

On November 4, 2010, deer hunters were walking the wooded area off Route 11 in Stacyville, Maine. It was only a few days into the Maine deer season, and the woods were quiet save for the sounds of boots on leaves, the breath of men in their blaze orange, eyes trained for movement in the forest.

Stacyville lies at the foot of Mount Katahdin in Penobscot County, but almost close enough to throw a rock into Aroostook County. For anyone who grew up and went to school in Maine, you were likely assigned Donn Fendler’s book Lost on a Mountain in Maine, which documented his days, well, lost on a mountain in Maine, until he was found in Stacyville.

On that November 4th morning in 2010, someone else was found in Stacyville, too.

Remains Discovered

The deer hunters had found the badly decomposed remains of a middle-aged man. Game wardens and State Police detectives worked together to investigate the scene, and the remains were transported for autopsy the next day. Officials said there were no signs of foul play as they began to compare his description to missing persons reports in the area.

12 days later, with no positive ID made through missing persons reports, Maine State Police chose to release the full description of the remains in hopes that someone would recognize the man. 

He was believed to be in his 50s and was 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 150 pounds. The man was wearing a blue and white plaid button down long sleeve shirt from Vineyard Vines, a pair of St. John’s Bay khakis with a 33-inch waist and 30-inch inseam and a brown St. John’s Bay canvas jacket. His shoes were New Balance, size 10, and near his body was a black briefcase containing three empty bottles of juice and water, two bottles of bug spray, and a brown sweater.

Then there was the hat. A blue and white striped knit beanie with the name Chris stitched in all capital letters on the brim. The Bangor Daily News published a photo of the hat. It was distinctive, and probably homemade. Maybe someone would recognize it.

But a month passed, and nobody did. 

Where is Mr. Roof?

While the description did generate some leads, police told the Bangor Daily News that they had nothing solid to identify the man. A year later, still nothing. Then-State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland told Jen Lynds at the BDN, “There has been no new information in the case that I am aware of. There are no significant leads.”

For over a decade, the man known only as Chris, the Stacyville John Doe, remained unidentified. His cause of death was never released, and no one came forward to identify his remains. Media coverage faded out after 2012. 

Meanwhile, three hundred miles away in Concord, Massachusetts, people were asking, “Where is Mr. Roof?”