The Identified Victim

Authorities in Barrington Hills, Illinois have identified a man who was found decapitated, with his severed legs found near his body, alongside Old Dundee Road in 1979.

The man, who was identified this past week as Joseph A. Caliva, was 27 years old at the time of the murder, authorities said this past week.

In 2023, police reopened the cold case and teamed up with Othram, a Texas-based laboratory that specialized in testing forensic DNA evidence and forensic genetic genealogy to determine if advanced DNA testing could help identify the murder victim, authorities said.

A comprehensive DNA profile was completed using Forensic Grade Genome Sequencing, which led to police being able to ID the man as Caliva.

Saliva’s remains were found in a grassy area along Old Dundee Road in Barrington Hills on Aug. 5, 1979. Police said the man’s torso was partially charred, and his legs were cut off and found near him. His arms and head were never found.

Investigators determined the murder happened at a different location but since the victim had no identifying characteristics, police at the time could not identify him and the case ended up going cold.

No one has ever been arrested in the murder.

As of Thursday, the Barrington Hills Police Department did not have any new leads or tips into the crime, Wiliam Walsh, community services and public information officer for the Barrington Hills Police Department, told Patch in an email response.

A police investigation around the time of the discovery of Caliva’s torso determinedit was the fifth torso located over 16 months in Cook County, and of the five remains, only one was identified, according to WGN-TV.

Anyone with information that could assist in this investigation is encouraged to contact Barrington Hills Police Department Investigations, referencing case number 1979-2050.

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