Non-Verbal Found Adult Finally Identified

Published: 07/12/2019



July 12, 2019



Detective Brian Money

Economic Crimes Unit         

Centralized Investigations Bureau

[email protected]

(951) 353-7118




RIVERSIDE, CA – An adult man who detectives had been looking to identify for over 6 months has finally been identified after exhaustive DNA matching and investigative work.


On Christmas Eve of 2018, an unidentified man was found unconscious near a homeless encampment in the Santa Ana River bottom and brought to a local hospital.  He remained in the care of that hospital for almost one month and appeared unable to speak, move, or even open his eyes.  On January 15, 2019, the Riverside Police Department began an investigation after the hospital reported the name this man was admitted under belonged to someone else.  Originally, this case appeared to be a possible identity theft of medical insurance, but detectives started to suspect this person was developmentally disabled and non-verbal, with no way to communicate who he was or where he lived. 


The assigned detective to this investigation, Detective Brian Money, utilized all conventional investigative methods to identify the man at the hospital that included fingerprints comparison, facial recognition, use of social media, and the dissemination of flyers to neighboring agencies, medical facilities, and community based organizations.  Still, no one had come forward claiming to know the man’s identity.   During this time, Detective Money had determined the man was incapable of providing a fraudulent name based on his inability to communicate.


As this unidentified man’s physical condition improved, he was transferred to a Board & Care facility in the city of Perris.  While there, Detective Money used a DNA testing kit to help identify the man.  At one point during his stay, the man was able to walk away from the facility and ended up at the Riverside University Health Systems (RUHS) emergency hospital where staff recognized his photo from the flyers Detective Money had distributed.


The Riverside County Elder Abuse Forensic Center, RUHS, County of Riverside Public Guardian, Adult Protective Services, and several other County of Riverside agencies assisted with efforts to identify and continue to care for the man.


Initial DNA testing results identified approximately 100 possible family members, but only a small few responded to say they did not know the man.  Fortunately, Genealogist CeCe Moore and her “DNA Detective Team” contacted Detective Money and volunteered their services to assist in this investigation.  They worked diligently and contacted several possible family members using various genealogy methods. Several of the man’s family members did not want to be involved and were uncooperative as to providing any information.  Finally, the DNA Detective Team located two family members who were able to provide information that helped identify the man.


Detectives are continuing the investigation to determine why no one reported the man as a missing person, as well as possible fraud committed against him and his financial benefits by family members.  He does have medical benefits as a person with disabilities, so more permanent arrangements are being made by the Public Guardian for his proper care and safety.


This person would not have been identified without the gracious and effective assistance of CeCe Moore and her team.  The Riverside Police Department would also like to thank all our partners with the state and county agencies who have helped with the man’s ongoing care and placement, as well as local media who helped get this story out to the public in hopes to get him identified.


The man’s identity is not being publicly released at this time due to confidentiality laws. This investigation is still ongoing and anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detective Brian Money at (951) 353-7118 or [email protected].