Mark Lawrence Ashland (c. 1954 - October 9, 1984) was a man who disappeared from Seattle in 1981. Three years after his last contact with family, he hanged himself. Fingerprint comparison led to his identification in the fall of 2019. In February 2020, the results were publicly released.
Ashland, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, moved to Washington five years before he disappeared. He generally took jobs involving driving. He had not contacted his family since September 4, 1981, despite their efforts to locate him. He was 27 at the time he was last seen.
Ashland's body was discovered on October 9, 1984. He had committed suicide by hanging in a wooded area in Carkeek Park, located in Seattle. He was believed to be from the area, based on what he wore. The rope used to facilitate his suicide appeared to have been purchased shortly before his death.
He was estimated to be between the ages of 18 and 34. The decedent was in a recognizable state, and it appeared he spent a significant amount of time driving with his left arm outside, based on tanning.
During the fall of 2019, authorities followed a potential lead that the decedent may have been Ashland, based on similar characteristics and clothing styles. No DNA was recovered from the body, but fingerprint information was recorded during the autopsy. A 1981 letter from Ashland to his sister contained prints that matched with the John Doe.
The identification was released publicly in February 2020.