Cold case of unidentified man buried in Edmonton still a mystery today

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EDMONTON, A.B. — The case of an unidentified man who collapsed at an Edmonton Safeway back in 1979, with a key from a now-demolished Dawson Creek hotel, still remains unsolved today.

As the Edmonton Journal reports, so-called “Mr. X” was dressed in dark green pants, a teal waist-length jacket and a blue peaked cap with a CAT Diesel Power logo when he died of a brain hemorrhage. He had blue eyes and brown-grey hair; he stood 5’11”, weighed 165 lbs., and was missing several teeth. Police believe he is between the age of 45 and 65.

Mr. X was wearing a modified metal knee brace and had a brown cane. He was carrying two change purses, and held the key to room no. 114 of Windsor Hotel in Dawson Creek.  He was buried anonymously in plot 95 of Beechmount cemetery, in Edmonton.

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Sgt. Neil Zurawell is digging for new clues in the case, hoping someone out there might recall something.

“That one always stood out to me as being more solvable,” Zurawell told the Edmonton Journal. “There are a lot of little tidbits, little hints as to who he was.”

Police checked shelters, hostels, and taverns to ask if people recognized and could identify him, without much luck. No fingerprint matches were found, nor was he a veteran or did he have a criminal record. No missing people were reported matching his description, either.

According to the newspaper, more than 50 unidentified people are buried every year in Alberta. While staggering, 2015 seems to have seen numbers lower than other recent years; 56 people were buried unclaimed or unidentified last year, down from 64 in 2014, and 89 and 2013.

The missing persons unit of the Edmonton Police is currently dealing with five distinct cases, including this one. Three were found in the river: the body of both a man and a woman and leg bones. Another is the body of a woman found dead in a backyard from natural causes. The cases this unit typically handles are not believed to be suspicious.

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