Webster Fisher Bio – Webster Fisher Wiki
The remains of a man found shot several times and sealed in a crate discovered in 1980 at a suburban Chicago power plant have been identified as those of a long-missing Chicago Webster Fisher, authorities said.
Webster Fisher was 29 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
The Will County Coroner’s Office announced Wednesday that Othram Inc., a Texas-based company that specializes in forensic DNA sequencing, identified the remains as Webster Fisher.
The Chicago man would have been 29 when his decomposing body was found on July 30, 1980, in a wooden crate at the Lockport Locks power plant in Will County, said Joe Piper, a deputy coroner, and cold case investigator with the Will County Coroner’s Office.
CBS Chicago reported the crate measured 4 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet and was nailed shut with a 1.5-inch hole drilled into it, according to the coroner’s office. The crate had broken open at some point during removal and dumping by power plant staff, the coroner’s office said.
“Obviously there was a lot of mob-related deaths back in that era and a lot that came into Will County,” Will County Sheriff’s Police Sgt. Mike Earnest told the station. “So is that a possibility we’ll explore? Yes. It is something I can say for certain? I don’t know.”
An autopsy showed the man had been shot several times and his body had been in the water for about two weeks, the coroner’s office said.
Efforts to identify the man proved unsuccessful and the case was deemed a cold case by investigators after about four years. But in June 2022, the man’s remains were exhumed for analysis as part of a partnership between Othram and the coroner’s office to identify victims and suspects.
In February, Othram gave investigators the names of possible relatives of the man, whom they believed was Fisher.
After a close relative of Fisher’s provided a DNA sample it was analyzed by Othram, which informed the coroner’s office on March 15 that it had confirmed that the unknown man was Fisher.
“It sealed the deal obviously, but the new technology, what an asset,” Piper told CBS Chicago.
Fisher’s wife recently told investigators that her husband left home in mid-July 1980 to get cigarettes at a gasoline station about a block away but never returned, Piper said. Relatives said Fisher was eventually reported missing to the Chicago Police Department, he said.
“This gentleman is somebody’s father, somebody’s uncle, somebody’s brother and it’s nice to be able to give the family some kind of closure, because … they’re looking and wondering whatever happened to their loved one,” Piper said.
Police are now looking for Fisher’s killer. Earnest said Thursday that the office is “in the very, very beginning stages of investigation” into his death.
A decades-old case like this will present challenges to the investigation, he added.
“We’re kind of working backward,” Earnest told the Chicago Tribune.