Tattoo Mystery: Cold Case Detectives Release Enhanced Tattoos of Unknown 1985 Borrego Springs Murder Victim

San Diego County, California – The San Diego County Sheriff’s Cold Case team is seeking assistance in identifying an unknown murder victim whose body was discovered in Borrego Springs nearly 39 years ago. The victim, found in a remote area, remains unidentified despite efforts from detectives to solve the case.

On October 26, 1985, a man’s deceased body was found in a ravine near State Highway 22, lacking any form of identification and in an advanced state of decomposition. The absence of fingerprints and the early stages of DNA technology hindered initial identification attempts. The Medical Examiner determined the man’s death to be a result of a homicide, but his identity remained a mystery for decades.

With a commitment to seeking justice for victims and closure for their families, San Diego County Cold Case detectives reopened the case to search for any clues that could lead to the victim’s identity. One significant lead was the discovery of distinct tattoos on the man’s body, including a detailed depiction of a wolf howling at a red moon on his left forearm with the word “life” or “wife” next to it.

After extensive efforts to enhance the images of the tattoos, investigators have released them to the public in the hope that someone may recognize the tattoos and provide vital information. In addition to the wolf tattoo, the man had other tattoos on his right arm, one bearing the name “Linda” on his upper arm and “Gypsy” followed by an unreadable word on his forearm.

Authorities are urging anyone with information regarding the case to contact the Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330, or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. The release of the enhanced tattoos reflects ongoing efforts to solve cold cases and bring closure to families impacted by unsolved crimes.