On October 3 1988, a citizen living off Highway 29 about 5 miles east of Georgetown city limits advised his dog brought home a human skull. Police responded to his residence and searched the area, finding additional bones and clothing. Over the next few days, they found most of the remains of a male skeleton. Examination by forensic anthropologist Dr. David Glassman determined the remains to belong to a Caucasian or Hispanic male 28 to 38 years of age, 5’2” to 5’5” in height. He had straight dark brown hair with some gray mixed in. His nose had been broken in the past and his arms were muscular. He had untreated dental issues. The cause of death was undetermined. It is believed the remains had been out in the area for up to a year.
Circled area is a pull off on Highway 29 where the bones were located. This is a Google Earth image from 1997, one of the earliest satellite images for this area. This pull out is no longer clearly delineated.
Forensic artist Karen T. Taylor drew a 2D reconstruction from the skeletal remains and the sketch was released to the media.
The victim was nicknamed “Rebel Ray” because of the rebel flag on the baseball cap found near his remains.
Rebel Ray’s DNA was extracted and it was found that he is primarily “AmerIndian” or Hispanic
DNA Doe Project is working on his genetic genealogy. However, as his ancestry is primarily Hispanic or Native, this will take some time. The databases don’t have large populations with those cultures and the matches aren’t close. Each generation that genealogists have to go back to try and find someone related to Ray increases exponentially the number of possibilities that they have to rule out.
In 2019 when she joined the Cold Case Unit, forensic artist Natalie Murry drew an updated digital 2D reconstruction for Rebel Ray.
There are not a lot of leads on this case. There were some interviews early on that said he may have been a handyman for the nearby Riverside Mobile Home Park, or may have sold marijuana there. It’s possible he was undocumented.
If you think you may have information on this case, please contact Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit.