James Sanders was a man whose skeletal remains were found in a wooded area frequented by transients in 1981.
He was identified through DNA in late August 2021.
On January 1, 1978, Sanders went to a bus stop near his home in Tennessee in order to travel to North Carolina to work on his aunt's tobacco farm by way of saving his money and hitchhiking, but never arrived. Relatives were concerned on his disappearance, though he wasn't reported missing until 2014.
In February 1981, skeletal remains of a man were discovered in a wooded area close to a homeless encampment near Airport Road in Naples, Florida, wrapped in an electrical blanket. There were signs of blunt force trauma on the body, though no further details could be ascertained.
In 2014, Sanders' brother finally reported him missing to the Rutherford County Sherriff's Office after coming across the grisly murder case of Rutherford County John Doe, who was discovered the same year Sanders disappeared. After the Sanders family submitted their DNA to authorities, it was discovered that the doe in La Vergne was not a match to the missing man. Though, in 2021, the Sanders' DNA turned up a match in Collier County, Florida, with the skeletal remains discovered in Naples. Authorities are now looking into Sanders' case as a homicide alongside working with Othram, Inc to identify the man Sanders was thought to be.
- Graying brown hair with a fine texture and a slight wave.
- Red pull-over shirt.
- Blue trousers.
- White jockey-type brief underwear.
- White socks with red and blue stripes near the tops.
- A pair of men's brown leather cowboy boots with a diamond pattern on the upper shaft bearing brown and black colors, size 8.