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Mom Reports Her Deadhead Son Went Missing—in 1995

It's complicated, but this might be answer to 'Grateful Doe' mystery
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2015 3:46 PM CST
Updated Jan 18, 2015 12:40 PM CST

(Newser) – A woman in Myrtle Beach, SC, filed a missing person report this week over a teenage son who left 20 years ago, reports the Smoking Gun. Strange? Yes, but this might be the answer to the mystery of "Grateful Doe," an unidentified car-crash victim from 1995. Start here: Margaretta Evans says that in June 1995, son Jason Callahan left their South Carolina home to follow the Grateful Dead on tour. She never heard from him again. Later that month, a young man was killed in a car accident in Emporia, Va. He was a passenger, likely a hitchhiker, and police were never able to identify him, in part because the accident disfigured his face. But he wore a Grateful Dead shirt and had Grateful Dead ticket stubs in his pocket, along with a note addressed to "Jason," reports MyrtleBeachOnline.

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The victim has been known as Grateful Doe ever since, and he's had supporters trying to unravel his identity all this time. A few years ago, Virginia police issued a composite sketch, and the case has been generating interest on social media, complete with specific pages on Facebook and Reddit. A seemingly big break came recently when a man in Urbana, Ill., saw the sketch online and recognized the victim as a fellow Deadhead named Jason, though he couldn't remember a last name, reports Illinois Homepage. He posted more photos to social media sites trying to crack the case, and it appears that this renewed interest is related to the filing of the missing person report. A Myrtle Beach PD rep says DNA samples are being evaluated in an attempt to link Grateful Doe to Callahan, who would now be 38. (This missing person case had a happy ending.)

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