Unidentified Wiki

Butte County John Doe was a man who was found in the Sacramento River in 1912.


On May 18, 1912, two fishermen, Harold Merrill and J.J. Lewis, located the badly decomposed of the victim several feet of from the bank of Sacramento River. The area the body was found in was an unfrequented place where it had evidently been washed by the recent high water and was near the unincorporated town of Cana, California and the Dicus Brother's Ranch.

The fishermen informed Coroner John Wallace of their discovery on the morning of the next day. Wallace performed an inquest on the body and determined the victim died from drowning, but there was no identification on him. His clothing and the smoothness of the victim's hand suggested the victim was not a manual labor working on one of Cana's wheat farms. A funeral by Fetters & Williams undertaking parlors was conducted for the victim on May 20, 1912, and he is now buried at Section 9, Lot 6, Spot 6 of Chico Cemetery in Chico, California.


  • Brown hair and beard that was a week's growth.
  • Smooth hands, bearing little evidence of manual labor.

Clothing and accessories

  • Brown suit of good texture.
  • Underwear and socks of excellent quality.
  • Stamp box, which held some cuff links and buttons.
  • Redding paper with the date obliterated from the water.