The body of a man who was killed in a hit and run car accident in 1981 was exhumed per the orders of an FBI investigation that led agents to believe that the John Doe is possibly a fugitive that is currently on their Ten Most Wanted list. Officials with the FBI noted in their court filing for the exhumation that photos that had been taken of the John Doe by medical examiners following his death strongly resemble a man named William Bradford Bishop Jr., who worked in Africa and Europe as a diplomat for the US State Department. He is suspected of having violently killed five of his immediate family members – his wife, his mother, and his three children – in 1976.
FBI documents state that Bishop allegedly loaded the bodies into his vehicle and took them from Bethesda, Maryland, where he lived at the time, to North Carolina where he burned them and then buried them. According to those same documents, he was last seen in Jacksonville, North Carolina coming out of a sporting goods store. Last week, the exhumation court filing was processed and FBI officials oversaw the process which took place in Scottsboro, Alabama. Fingerprints and dental records of the John Doe were sent to an FBI analyst for comparison with Bishop’s records but agents did not disclose any timeframe for when they expected the results of that comparison.
FBI officials were alerted to the possible match after local law enforcement officers in Scottsboro began reopening several cold cases and submitted a photo of John Doe in local newspapers looking for information about him or the person who may have been driving the car that hit him. The newspaper submission didn’t turn up any response but when the television show “The Hunt with John Walsh” aired an episode featuring Bishop earlier this year, tips started pouring in and that is when the FBI got involved.