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Human Remains Discovered 32 Years Ago Identified
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By Major Christopher Kimmitz
February 18, 2022

On September 28, 1990 the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a human skull had been found lying under a fence line next to the roadway of Joshua Road, near the intersection of Mountain View Road. The skull was discovered by a property owner who was bush hogging his field.

Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to the scene and confirmed the recovered skull was in fact a human skull and appeared to have been at the location for an extended period of time. The area was searched, but no additional human remains were located. The skull did not show any signs of trauma.

The skull was examined by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s (OCME) in Richmond, Virginia along with the National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution and the Department of Anthropology in Washington, DC. They concluded the skull appeared to be of an adolescent Caucasian male, between the ages of 15-18 years old (1986-1989) and placed a reasonable estimate of time between death and its discovery between 1 to 3 years. A cause of death could not be determined by the OCME, but due to the estimated age of the victim and the location where the skull was located, a violent or unnatural manner of death was strongly suspected by the OCME. The manner of death was ruled “undetermined”.

Starting in 2011, DNA testing was performed on the remains by DNA International and University of North Texas Center for Human Identification and they were successful in developing a full DNA Profile. The profile was uploaded and searched in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), but resulted in negative results.

On May 7, 2020, working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, inquiries were made to the OCME to determine if the DNA Extract could be sequenced and searched against the Genealogy Databases in attempts to identify any potential family members or relatives of the unknown victim.

In November 2021, thanks to the genealogical research conducted by Ortham Laboratories in Woodlands, Texas, the company was able to provide the Sheriff’s Office with a possible name and possible location of the victim’s father and a brother who were from the Norfolk area of Virginia. Detective Wood located and contacted both the victim’s father and brother and it was at that time detectives were provided the name of Timothy Alan Mangum as a possible identity. The family had not had contact with Timothy Mangum for a number of years prior to 1990.

DNA samples were obtained from both the father and brother and sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Richmond. Based on the DNA comparisons to the remains, the OCME has identified the remains as those belonging to Timothy Mangum.
Detectives have been able to obtain some historical background information on Timothy Mangum and learned that he attended Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk Virginia during the April 1983 school year after having withdrawn from the Chesapeake Public School system in January 1983. At one-point Timothy had moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee to live with his mother, but he returned back to Virginia and was placed at the James Barry Robinson Institute in Norfolk, Virginia and later enrolled in Lake Taylor Senior High School for his sophomore year.

At this time detectives believe that Timothy Magnum was last alive in 1983-1984, but not much more information is known about his disappearance or the circumstances surrounding his death. Detectives are continuing the investigation and attempting to contact anyone who had any contact with Timothy Mangum or can provide any information as to why Timothy Mangum would have been in Stafford County around September of 1990.

Our sympathies go out to the family during this difficult time.

Timothy Mangum’s identification was made through a collaborative effort conducted over the years by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia, Ortham Laboratory in Woodlands, Texas, DNA Lab International in Deerfield, Florida, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, in Richmond, the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, in Fort Worth, Texas and the OCME in Richmond, Virginia.

Anyone having any information concerning Timothy Alan Mangum and who might have known or attended school with him is asked to contact Detective Dave Wood, at the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, 540-658-4727, or email at dwood@staffordcountyva.gov.


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