Police release composite of suspect in unsolved Warwick murder

Police released this composite sketch of a possible suspect on Monday, May 16.

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been almost three years to the day since a Warwick man was found murdered in City Park and police may now know what the killer looks like.

The body of John “Jack” Fay was found inside a barrel on May 17, 2013, and Warwick police have been investigating his murder since. On Monday, police released a digital composite of the man believed to be Fay’s murderer.

Using DNA from an “unknown male” found at the scene, the lab was able to predict the physical appearance and ancestry of the possible suspect.

According to the report, the suspect is believed to olive skin, hazel or brown eyes, brown/blonde hair, and not many freckles.

Jack Fay (Photo: Warwick Police)
Jack Fay (Photo: Warwick Police)

Police said the composite is not necessarily an exact match to the suspect, noting that the test uses a baseline age of 25 years, an average body type, and doesn’t take into account hair length, facial hair, dyed hair, body piercings, or tattoos.

“That composite we produce is not intended to identify someone,” said Dr. Ellen Greytak of Parabon NanoLabs, the company that produced the composite. “It’s a blueprint for a person it contains all the instructions on to make this – so can we do the same thing can we read that information and make predictions about that person just based on the DNA”

Fay was a retired postal worker and an avid runner. Police say he frequented the City Park bike path for running.

In 2014, police distributed photos of a distinctive sledgehammer they said was found near where the murder took place, and asked for help identifying it. The two-and-a-half pound sledge has a custom-made handle which may have been red at one point.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Sgt. Mark Canning at (401) 468-4236 or Det. John McHale at (401) 468-4267. An anonymous tip can also be left at (401) 732-TIPS.

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