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Man found dead in Henry County in 2003 now identified

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Posted at 2:43 PM, Jul 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 14:49:50-04

HENRY COUNTY — Nearly 19 years after he was found behind an abandoned gas station in Henry County, a John Doe has been identified.

The Henry County Coroner says the man's body was found near the I-70 and SR-109 exit on October 2, 2003. He had no identification on him and was not known to local law enforcement at the time.

Coroner Stacey Guffey says during the early investigation stages, law enforcement officials gathered fingerprints, DNA, dental records and anything else that could have been used to identify him, but no identification was able to be made.

In February 2022, Guffey says the FBI told her a fingerprint confirmation was made and John Doe's identity was known and confirmed.

The man has been identified as Daniel Diaz. He was born in 1977 and a resident of Columbus, Ohio, prior to his death.

Guffey says Diaz's parents told them they hadn't seen Daniel for over 20 years and felt that he didn’t want a relationship with them.

"Hearing the news of his death, the family was very distraught and emotional. After further discussion, the family decided to leave Diaz’s remains in Henry County, and they plan to visit his gravesite this year," Guffey said.

Diaz currently has a headstone that says “Here lays a young man that only God knows.” Now, Guffey says the marker can be changed to reflect Diaz's name, birth year and death year in proper form.