Police release image of Almeda fire victim
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has released a computer-generated composite of a man who was found dead in the Almeda fire’s path in the hopes of identifying him.
On Sept. 8, the day the Almeda fire broke out, investigators found the body of a Black man at mile marker 8.9 between the cities of Ashland and Talent, according to a Tuesday Facebook post. Investigators found eyeglass frames and a multi-tool near the body.
The victim was described as being between 5-feet-8 and 5-feet-11, according to the sheriff’s office, which is working with Ashland police and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office in the investigation.
The new composite image was created after OSP’s Medical Examiner’s office provided a sample of the remains to DNA technology company Parobon Nanolabs, according to the sheriff’s office.
OSP is also working with Parabon Nanolabs and the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification to match the remains to DNA comparisons of missing persons across the country, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Sept. 8 fire claimed three lives and burned more than 2,500 residences. Two of those fatalities were previously identified as 55-year-old Donald Schmidt and 92-year-old Violet Lobdell, who were both residents of Bear Lake Mobile Estates in Phoenix.
Ashland police is the lead agency in the third man’s death, which the sheriff’s office described as a “criminal homicide investigation.”
Anyone who may have information about the identity of the man fitting the description in the composite is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 541-774-6800. Anyone with information about the homicide investigation should call Ashland police at 541-488-2211.