Human remains recovered from Jack’s Creek ID’d as missing men from 1982 cold case

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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Human remains recovered from Jack’s Creek have been identified through circumstantial evidence, Washington Police Chief Phil Rollinson confirmed. 

The remains are believed to be connected to a 1982 missing persons cold case. On Dec. 10 of that year, three men William Clifton, David McMicken and Michael Norman went missing after being seen at a bar in Chocowinity. 

Local law enforcement was contacted earlier this week by the North Carolina State Crime Lab where DNA testing was done. 

DNA profiles could not be retrieved from the remains, Washington Police Department shared in a press release. “However, based on the totality of the circumstances in this case WPD is confident that this is the three missing men from 1982. The remains located indicate three occupants of the vehicle.”  

It is believed that on Dec. 10, 1982, the men were traveling from Chocowinity to Washington in Clifton’s 1976 Chevrolet Camaro. In February, a vehicle was recovered from Jack’s Creek. Washington Police Department was able to match the VIN number on the vehicle to the VIN number of Clifton’s Camaro.  

Clifton’s daughter, ReAnne, posted to Facebook on Tuesday, June 4, that in her mind, this case is officially closed. 

“I need to try and find some peace with this information. I know this brings closure for others, and hopefully, it will for me as time moves on,” she wrote. “I am incredibly grateful for everyone who assisted in the search and for the community’s unwavering support during this long journey. Thank you all for your support.” 

In a press release Washington Police Department stated that they “would like to again send condolences to the families of these three men.  We at the police department are proud of our involvement in this case and our opportunity to provide some answers to the families. This was truly a community effort and everyone should be proud of their assistance.”