SOLVED: 41 Year Old Delmar Cold Case
Update 1/13/22 1:37pm: In a press conference, Bethlehem Police have identified the man as 41 year old Franklin Feldman from Massachusetts. They say he was known to live a transient lifestyle and was never reported missing. This is also the first case in the county's history to use investigative genealogy to identify a victim. Police say the exact cause of death is still unknown and will likely remain unsolved.
In 1981 a farmer at the Double V Stables in Delmar found a man's body at the edge of the property. The man's identity was never verified. His cause of death remained unknown. What police did determine at the time was that the man's body had been there for several months.
NewsChannel 13's Jerry Gretzinger put together a story back in November of 2020 as part of the #ColdCase13 series. It was all about the mystery surrounding the man, who has been known until now, as Mr. X.
Most of the records about the case were lost when the Bethlehem Police Department was flooded some years back. However, in 2013 the case showed up on the State Police database of missing persons, which sparked new interest.
The man is believed to have been 6 feet tall, 220 pounds, and between 30 and 45 years old. There was also a piece of paper found on the man, it included phone numbers of churches and soup kitchens - which suggests he may have been homeless.
The body was so decomposed, there was no hope of getting finger prints or matching dental records. An autopsy was inconclusive on the cause of death but find a broken hyoid bone in the neck, which could indicate some form of foul play - possibly strangulation or hanging. While looking deeper into the case, police discovered the man's jaw bone, the only remaining piece of evidence, was still at a local dentists office, tucked away for years in the basement storage.
A police press conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, in which investigators are expected to announce the new findings they have made in the case.