Williams County Sheriff’s Office identifies body from 39-year-old cold case

Local News

“John Doe” found in the Missouri River east of Williston on June 22, 1982, has been identified as Phillip Peterson by the Williams County Sheriff’s Office.

Peterson’s body was disinterred from Riverview Cemetery on Aug. 10, 2020, after a request for public assistance in identifying the male didn’t produce any successful leads.

After media coverage, a potential family member contacted the Sheriff’s Office with information upon seeing images of the deceased’s tattoos on a news program, police said.

The combination of a name with new technologies for digital forensics led to a positive identification of Phillip Peterson.

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