Keene Creek case draws calls

Portland TV report generates interest in body found in 1963

A Portland television station's broadcast on a cold-case investigation seeking the identity of a little boy found in Keene Creek Reservoir 46 years ago has turned up new tips for Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

The nearly 10-minute story by Jeff Gianola is also airing locally on KDRV Channel 12. It ran Friday and will air again on the station's morning show Monday, between 5 and 7 a.m.

"We've already gotten a few interesting calls," sheriff's department Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan said Friday, in the wake of Thursday's broadcast on KOIN in Portland.

Fagan said he had exchanged phone messages with two women who each claimed to have answers or connections to the case, but hadn't talked to them yet Friday afternoon.

The case of a toddler found bound in a weighted bundle in the reservoir in the mountains east of Ashland in July 1963 was stuck in storage for decades until sheriff's department volunteer special investigator Jim Tattersall discovered it in old files. He, Fagan and Jackson County Deputy Medical Examiner Tim Pike took up the case.

They exhumed the body, which was buried in an unmarked grave at Hillcrest Memorial Park, collected DNA, had a facial reconstruction image created and asked the public to delve into their memories.

Technology has provided new clues, including details on the boy's age and likelihood of Down syndrome from local dentists, and a possible diagnosis of congenital syphilis from another expert tipped off by the child's unusual tooth deformity — a bifurcated lower front tooth that has two roots and a surface split by a groove.

However, investigators repeatedly have said that they believe someone remembers the boy and knows what happened to him. That's why they're working to keep the case in the public eye.

People interested in viewing the television story also can go to, the Web site of KOIN, Channel 6, a Portland CBS affiliate. Under the heading "Video" look for a special feature called "Little Boy Lost."

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail