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Authorities identified the victim in Long Beach cold case known as “John Doe 1978”

Long Beach, California – Solving cold cases can require a lot of dedication, resources, and expertise, and they are generally considered to be a significant challenge for law enforcement agencies, as the longer a case remains unsolved, the harder it becomes to solve it.

In this particular case, the Long Beach Police Department did not determine a suspect yet, but they were finally able to identify the victim, which would definitely help to close the case in the future by bringing the person responsible for the death to justice.

Authorities identified the victim in the 1978 murder as Kenneth Nevada Williams. Williams was found strangled to death and was 15 years old at the time of his murder. The investigation into Williams’ murder was even expanded to other counties, and after more than 40 years, the LBPD was able to determine his identity. And now that his identity has been revealed, the Long Beach Police Department is asking for assistance in helping them developing new investigative leads.

His body was found lying on the pavement along Division Street near Corona Avenue on June 3, 1978. Since there was no identification in his possession at the time and the fingerprints taken did not match any database, this case became known as John Doe 1978.

Williams was never reported missing since he had a habit of running away from home often, and his family assumed he probably started life somewhere. Over the years, Williams’ family hired private detectives with the hope they would be able to locate him eventually, but with no luck.

“A teenager who went missing in the 1970s has been known only as “John Doe” for decades until recent technology and dogged investigators led to his true identity,” said Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office Donald Always in a recent statement.

After the body was identified this September, his family was contacted by homicide detectives, and they confirmed his identity.

According to the police, the last time Williams attended Sierra Vista Middle School was on October 27, 1977.

Anyone who may have information is asked to contact the Long Beach Police Department’s Homicide Detail, Missing Persons Section at 562-570-7246.


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