Michael Ray Schlicht : “Decades-Old John Doe Homicide Victim in Orange County Identified as Man from Cedar Rapids”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Decades after his lifeless body was discovered in Orange County, California, investigators have finally identified a man from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department revealed that on September 14, 1974, two individuals stumbled upon the deceased man as they were off-roading on a trail. At the time, it was believed that the man had died from accidental alcohol and diazepam intoxication, and his death remained a mystery.

Despite extensive efforts, including submitting the man’s fingerprints to various agencies, no positive identification was made. Consequently, he was buried in an unmarked grave at El Toro Memorial Park, leaving his true identity a tragic enigma. However, in 1980, a series of deaths in Southern California were classified as homicides due to alcohol and diazepam intoxication. These cases, along with subsequent discoveries of bodies in close proximity to the original John Doe, raised suspicions that he may have been a victim of the notorious serial killer Randy Steven Kraft, also known as the “Scorecard Killer.”

Kraft, who was arrested in 1983 after being found with a dead man in his car, was eventually convicted of 16 murders and received the death sentence. However, the sheriff’s office suspected that John Doe could have been one of Kraft’s earlier victims. The case remained unresolved until November of the previous year when investigators decided to submit tissue samples from John Doe to a private forensic biotechnology company in hopes of establishing a DNA profile.

Finally, last month, investigators made a breakthrough. They were able to identify potential grandparents of John Doe and obtain a DNA sample from a woman believed to be his mother. Through this DNA analysis, the man was identified as Michael Ray Schlicht. The sheriff’s office has since notified Schlicht’s family members, who are now in the process of installing a headstone to mark his final resting place.

The identification of Michael Ray Schlicht brings closure to a nearly five-decade-old case and offers a glimpse into the tragic fate of one of Randy Kraft’s possible victims. As investigators continue to uncover the truth behind unsolved crimes, they aim to bring justice to the families affected by these heinous acts.

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