CHEYENNE, WYO.: The discovery of an unidentified murder victim’s headless body nearly three weeks ago on a remote, dead-end dirt road in Wyoming has stymied investigators and led some residents to speculate that big-league drug violence has reached a rural county just east of Yellowstone National Park.
Authorities, however, insist they’re still looking for a motive for the grisly crime, along with the victim’s identity. Duck hunters found the man’s body Jan. 9 near the town of Powell.
A pathologist determined the man — no more than 35 years old, about 5-foot-8, and 180 to 200 pounds — was killed by multiple gunshot wounds before he was decapitated. One of his arms also was cut off.
It’s believed the man was killed about two days before he was found.
“You’ve got a body missing an arm and a head, no missing persons reports,” Lance Mathess, a spokesman for the Park County Sheriff’s Office, said Wednesday. “Nobody’s come forward with any solid identification leads at this point, so it really makes it a difficult investigation.”
The victim — stocky, physically fit and white or light-skinned Hispanic — was wearing an elaborate, embroidered belt buckle featuring a horse’s head. Authorities say that buckle style is similar to craftsmanship from some villages in Mexico and Guatemala.
For that reason, Mathess said his agency believes the man might have been from Mexico or elsewhere south of the border and might have been a farm or ranch worker.