Authorities seek help identifying deceased homeless man

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This sketch depicts what the man known as “Railroad Nick” looked like. (Source: KPD)

Authorities are asking for the public’s help identifying a homeless man whose corpse was found two years ago in a South Knoxville park.

The man, who was known by the nickname “Railroad Nick” in the homeless community, was believed to be a white male between 60 and 70 years old who stood approximately 5’10” tall, according to officials from the Knox County Regional Forensic Center.

His body was found on June 16, 2020, near a homeless encampment by the railroad tracks at Scottish Pike River Park, said Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Scott Erland. 

“According to the initial report, he was found because KPD officers went to check the camp after somebody reported that they had not seen their friend in several months, visited the camp and discovered the body,” Erland said.

“It was apparent that the victim in this case had been deceased for an extended period of time. Foul play is not suspected, but the Forensic Center needs to identify him in order to make next of kin notifications,” he continued.

At the time of his death, he was wearing a black jacket, brown pants, white socks, and a black string necklace that included a black pendant, said Knox County officials.

Anyone with information about the man’s identity is asked to call the Center’s medicolegal death investigator line at 865-215-8010, or KPD Lt. Morrow at 865-215-7298.

Published on August 25, 2022.