Freeman Asher Jr.

  • Found Deceased

About Freeman Asher Jr.'s case

According to source,

PORTLAND, Ore. — After more than 40 years of questions, a set of human remains now has an identity, the Oregon State Police announced on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.

“The unidentified has been identified,” authorities said in a Facebook post that detailed the cold case.

The skeletal remains of a man that were first discovered by hikers at the bottom of Multnomah Falls on September 14, 1979 have now been identified as that of Freeman Asher Jr.

Police say the relatives of Asher have been notified of the discovery and they are working on releasing his remains to their care.

According to police, a few possessions were found that day on September 14th as well, including clothing, eyeglasses, and hair that authorities said indicated the person “may have been of African American biological origin.” An anthropologist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. analyzed the remains that year.

However, it would be more than two decades before they were re-examined in 2006. Four years later, in 2010, a DNA sample was uploaded to the CODIS database, though it never yielded a match with a missing persons case. Following that, a Clackamas County forensic artist created a composite drawing that included the personal items that were found at Multnomah Falls.

A grant awarded to OSP in 2018 allowed the agency to perform “innovative DNA techniques on unsolved unidentified skeletal remains cases.” Two years later, a DNA Phenotyping and Genetic Genealogy report listed a possible name for the remains found — Freeman Asher Jr.

Police say he still had relatives in Portland and was thought to have moved to the city around 1976. Through extensive interviews and a search for relatives, police learned that Asher disappeared and was presumed dead by most of his family.

A sister of Asher’s in California agreed to a DNA test for comparison, and with the sibling relationship genetically confirmed, authorities were finally able to properly identify the remains on January 29, 2021.

“We are dedicated to solving the unsolved and bringing closure to families’ missing a loved one. The unidentified will never be forgotten,” said OSP in a statement on the case.

State police said multiple agencies worked together to make the identification, including the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, Smithsonian Institute, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Portland Police Bureau, Parabon Nanolabs and San Fernando Police Department.

Personal Characteristics

Age / Ethnicity

Gender / Hair / Eyes

Distinguishing Marks

Not Available

Profession / Education

Not Available

Height / Weight


Not Available


Investigative Details

  • Foul Play Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
  • Suicide Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
  • Cause of Death: Undetermined / Unreleased

Significant Dates

  • Reported Missing: No Date Available
  • Date Found: Friday, September 14, 1979 (45 years ago)

Administrative Details

Monday, January 8, 2024 (7 months ago)

Missing NPF Public Identification Number (MPID) 9934

Missing NPF lists “Foul Play Suspected,” “Suspected Suicide,” “Cause of Death,” and other elements of data in association with public reporting. These settings do not reflect the opinions of Missing NPF and/or its staff. Unless explicitly noted, Missing NPF does not publicize opinion, nor are any of the initial reports written – or edited – by members of Missing NPF. All content (with the exception of “IMPORTANT” notices, listed toward the top of applicable case files) are the works of external persons, sources and/or entities. All pictures displayed on this case file have been downloaded from the public domain, unless a user has commented or otherwise transmitted a picture to Missing NPF or its social media accounts. Case updates are derived from external persons, sources, and/or entities, and do not reflect the internal work of Missing NPF, unless expressly noted.

Viewers since 1/2/2024


Discussions are comments not intended to communicate an official case update. If you are intending to update the general public about this case file, please consider creating a case update.

Other People

Randomized every 30 minutes

  • Olympic National Park
    Olympic National Park
  • Found Alive
  • Reported Missing: 07/28/20 (4 years ago)
  • Found: 07/29/20 (4 years ago)
  • Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park
  • Found Deceased
  • Reported Missing: 07/14/21 (3 years ago)
  • Found: 07/15/21 (3 years ago)

© All rights reserved, 2024. Created by Joss and Associates, LLC.