Human Remains Found in Cave Identified as Outlaw Who Died More Than 100 Years Ago

Joseph Henry Loveless was thought to have murdered his wife

Composite image of Joseph Henry Loveless
DNA Doe Project

A dismembered and headless John Doe, whose remains were found in Idaho caves, has been identified as a murderer who died shortly after he escaped jail more than 100 years ago.

The remarkably well preserved remains of Joseph Henry Loveless were believed to have been placed in the Civil Defense Caves near Dubois, Idaho, in 1916. His torso was found in 1979 and his arms and legs in 1991 and he was identified now by the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization that identifies Jane and John Does through advanced genetic genealogy techniques.

His head was never found.

"With the combined efforts of 14 volunteer genealogists over the course of 15 weeks, we put in over 2,000 hours of genealogical research into this identification," said Anthony Redgrave, team leader for Clark County John Doe at the DNA Doe Project.

Loveless was thought to have murdered his wife, Agnes Caldwell Loveless, who was killed with an ax.

The DNA Doe Project thinks Loveless died at age 46 — murdered — and was transported to the cave shortly after he escaped jail in May of 1916. It is unknown who killed and dismembered him.

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