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Many cases will never be solved

Norman Louis Stinson had a wife and two kids. He was a blue-collar worker in Sacramento. On Jan. 8, 1986 a man who had never met Stinson went to tow his 1973 Plymouth Duster from the parking lot of the High Sierra Casino. It had gone unnoticed for some time before it was finally pegged as abandoned.

After being reported missing by his family some months before, Stinson, a tall man with blue eyes and brown hair, was found. The tow truck driver noticing an odor discovered Stinson in the trunk of his car. A victim of foul play.

Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators know Stinson was killed by someone beating him in the head and neck, beyond that the trail is slim. Despite intensive man hours detectives said they still don’t know who or why Stinson was killed. They also couldn’t find anyone to place him alive in the Lake Tahoe area. It seems that the High Sierra, now Horizon Casino Resort, was just a convenient place to leave the body.



Still in Stinson’s case detectives have more to go on than others. At least they have a name.

On April 2, 1989 Heavenly ski patrollers skiing powder out of bounds off of Olympic Chair, made a gruesome discovery. A man fully clothed and frozen, buried under 5 feet of snow. He wasn’t dressed for skiing or winter weather. Detectives said an autopsy of the body failed to produce a cause of death due to the state of decomposition. The man appeared to be between 30 to 35 years old, with reddish brown hair, a thin build, and between 5 feet 11 inches, and 6 feet tall. He didn’t match any reports of missing persons and Sgt. Detective Tim Minister said there has not been any activity on the case in several years.




The most recent mystery body was found by a survey crew on Aug. 6, 1997 behind the Park Estate. Workers discovered what resembled a human femur and a backpack. The crews were working on undeveloped wildland about a mile behind the ranch house.

Investigators speculated that the man could have been anyone from a transient who died from exposure to a victim of murder. All that was found near the bones were a pair of red and black Air Jordan basketball shoes, size 11, and a University of Miami, Fla. jacket. A study of the bones placed the man at 26 to 36 years old, and anywhere from 5 foot 3 inches to 5 foot 8 inches tall.

Minister said they are hoping on a possible breakthrough on some cases through the use of clay molds to reconstruct the person’s face.

“It might help with identification,” he said.


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