LONG BEACH (CBS) — Long Beach police say the nude body of a man found in the carport area of a Long Beach condominium complex in 1974 has been identified as a Camp Pendleton Marine.
The U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service identified the remains as Oral Stuart Jr., of Des Moines, Iowa. Stuart’s body was found on Nov. 10 in 1974, 12 before he was listed as a deserter by the Marines.
Police say Stuart’s remains were found in the carport area of a large complex in the area of Spring Street near the 605 Freeway. His body had sustained blunt force trauma and other injuries.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office was unable to identify the body or make a determination as to the official cause of death, which was eventually ruled as undetermined.
Long Beach police cold case detectives compiling a list of unidentified “Doe” cases reexamined the case of “John Doe #155” and determined the victim may have been in the military at the time of his death based on his physical description.
NCIS identified Stuart by the tattoos on his arms.
Based on Stuart’s official identification as a U.S. Marine and statements from surviving family members, who said Stuart would not have voluntarily desert his duties as a Marine, detectives suspected foul play. The case was reviewed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, which reclassified Stuart’s death as a homicide.
Police hope members of the public will come forward to shed more light on the death of Stuart. Anyone with information can call Long Beach police homicide detectives Bryan McMahon and Steve Dougan at (562) 570-7244.