CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Cold Case Unit has solved two outstanding cases with one set of dental records.
One was the disappearance of Joshua Judea Zipperer reported at the end of 2013.
Zipperer was a homeless man, who kept in touch with his family on a daily basis.
His mother reported that she had last seen him on Christmas Eve at the Wendy’s in East Ridge, and then heard nothing for a week.
The next day, there was a fire at the old Hungry Fisherman restaurant in East Ridge.
Police had found remains in the burned out building, but could not identify them.
The abandoned building had become a camp for homeless in the area.
Both cases remained unsolved for three years, until Cold Case Unit Investigator Michael Ray came across the Zipperer case in a federal database.
He got dental records of Zipperer and took them to Dr. Heath Blockley who does dental forensic work for the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Dr. Blockley determined it was a match for the victim in the fire.
Fire investigators never determined what cause that fire on Christmas Day of 2013.