Local News

'John Doe' Goes To Court As Cary Police Search For Identity

Posted December 30, 2005 7:56 a.m. EST

— An alleged drug operation led to a police chase on Dec. 21, with two suspects taken into custody afterward.  The problem is, authorities don't know who one of the men is.

"We know we have the right person in custody," said Cary Police Capt. Dave Wulff. "It's just we have no idea who it is we have in custody."

The two men have refused to talk with police. Investigators identified Gary Fitzgerald, of Fuquay-Varina, through fingerprints, but the other man doesn't have any fingerprints on file.

The mysterious suspect had his first court appearance under the name John Doe. He was even appointed an attorney. He's remained in jail now for nine days.

If the man would say who he is, a judge could decide to give him a bond. Instead of waiting for trial behind bars, he could be out of jail. But staying silent is likely to land him in even more trouble.

A judge could find him in contempt of court or even charge him with resisting and delaying the investigation of his case. Still, Wake County's Chief Public Defender Bryan Collins said you can't force him to spill the beans.

"They can't beat it out of him," said Collins. "They can't coerce him into giving his name. If he refuses to do that, we may never know his name."

But that shouldn't stop his case from going through the system. He can be prosecuted as John Doe and a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court says he can even be convicted of a crime for refusing to give police his name.

Cary police are offering a $2,500 reward for information that helps identify the suspect. In the meantime, they're trying several things to get his name. One is facial recognition technology. If he were on record, it would match his picture with one at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Related Stories:

  • December 21, 2005:

    Two Men Apprehended In Wake County Chase

  • December 23, 2005:

    Suspect In Wake County Chase Still Silent About Identity