News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: January 28, 2020

Skull/Torso Identification

Undated Mugshot of John H Frisch

On June 12, 2017, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) recovered a skull that washed up on the shore of the Illinois River in Kingston Mines, Illinois. A DNA sample was then given to the Illinois State Police (ISP) Crime lab. ISP later informed PCSO that a positive match was made from another DNA sample found in CODIS (DNA database). This sample was from a torso that was recovered from the Illinois River in Schuyler County, IL on November 13, 2016 that the Illinois State Police were investigating. ISP Investigators and Peoria County Investigators have since worked together on identifying this ’John Doe.’

Since obtaining this information, the remains (skull and torso) have been sent to two separate forensic anthropologists--located at University of Illinois and the University of New Hampshire--who were both able to process the remains in attempts to help identify the unknown male (ancestry, age, etc.). Peoria County Sheriff’s Detective Hoffman investigated and eliminated every reported missing person in the United States using identifiers and DNA from this ’John Doe.’ Detectives diligently worked with the DNA Doe Project, who were able to give detectives a strong candidate through forensic genealogy. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood and his staff were able to confirm the ’John Doe’s’ identity through dental records from Hawaii.

The ’John Doe’ has been identified as JOHN H. FRISCH (pictured below), who would have been 56 years old at the time his body was found in Schuyler County, IL. Frisch had never been reported missing, but used addresses in Peoria, Illinois and Hawaii throughout his life. 

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood has ruled cause of death as “blunt force head trauma”. This was a horrific crime that occurred where John H. Frisch’s body was dismembered after his death and then found in the Illinois River. 

Investigators are retracing Frisch’s days prior to his body being found. Mr. Frisch’s parents are deceased, and he has very limited family in the area. 

There will be a press conference on January 28, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office in the conference room with Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell and Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood. 

If anyone has any information on John H. Frisch, please call Detective Hoffman at (309) 657-5532, Lt. Dan Corpus (309) 258-7160, or Peoria Area Crime Stoppers at (309) 673-9000.

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