Nobody could have guessed the identity of a man whose body was found in the Civil Defense Caves in 1979. For 40 years, anthropologists, scientists and investigators from Idaho State University all the way to the Smithsonian and the FBI tried to unravel the mystery of who this man was. The big question none of them could figure out was how long he had been in the caves.
The man’s remains were so well preserved, there was still skin on the body. Anthropologists believed that he had maybe only been in the caves for five to 10 years. When the DNA Doe Project finally put the genetic and genealogical pieces together, they learned he had been in the cave since 1916.
“Through our research, following the tireless experts of innumerable experts, we have identified Clark County John Doe. His name was Joseph Henry Loveless,” DNA Doe Project team leader Anthony Redgrave said. “Joseph Henry Loveless was born Dec. 3, 1870, in Payson, Utah territory.
Loveless was a notorious outlaw, bootlegger, jailbird and a vicious murderer, according to newspaper records from the era.