OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Children playing near an Opelika creek made a grisly discovery that kickstarted a murder investigation police are eager to solve thirty-three years later.

WRBL has the cold case details, including why investigators believe the young man was wearing six pairs of socks. Central Alabama Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

September 22nd, 1990, felt like a summer day in Opelika. “Blaze Of Glory” by Jon Bon Jovi was number one on the music charts, and two children were exploring a creek bed off Anderson Road. That’s where a cold case mystery begins, as the kids came across the body of a young, black man who had been shot in the head.

“We are working on a few leads right now, but it would still help tremendously if the public would come forward and let us know who this guy is,” said Opelika Police Andrew Burroughs.

During the initial investigation, detectives were unable to locate any missing persons reports similar to the victim. So, it’s possible he wasn’t local, and his body was dumped in the creek by whoever killed him because the location was a quick detour off Interstate 85.

“We never close these cases. It’s one we started looking into again with the advancements of DNA in forensics. We thought we might be able to solve it,” said Lt. John Hester.

The victim was wearing a white St. Louis Cardinals jersey-type shirt with red pinstripes, Jordache blue jeans, and black Ellesse shoes. He had a short fade haircut, was approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed between 135-145 pounds, and was between the ages of 18-25 years old. He had no tattoos, no scars, and only one piercing in his left earlobe. He had protruding teeth and was wearing six pairs of socks on each foot, one of which had an Arizona State logo on it. Interestingly, he was wearing size 8 black sneakers, but his feet were considerably smaller. So, he was wearing several sock layers to make the shoes fit.

“Ultimately, the goal is to solve the case and figure out what happened to him and who did it, but before we can get there, we need to know who he is,” said Lt. Hester.

The police are urging anyone with information about the victim’s identity or the case to come forward. Central Alabama Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. Tips can be submitted by calling (334) 215-STOP (7867), toll-free at 1-833-AL1-STOP, or via their website: www.215STOP.com. The Opelika Police Department Detective Division can also be reached at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665. Tips can be submitted through the Opelika Police Mobile App, and individuals may choose to remain anonymous.