Northern Virginia Police Beat: Hobo Camp Murder? Bones identified as those of Joseph John Swain


Northern Virginia Police BeatBones identified as those of Joseph John Swain

HERNDON, VA. — Fairfax County Police Detectives released the identity of the bones found in February of 2015 in the Herndon area as Joseph John Swain, 50. Police say that Swain had no fixed address. Such a description is often used to describe those living in hobo camps near populated areas.

According to the Office of the Medical Examiner, there were no clear signs of death and they’ve called it “undetermined” due to the nature of the bones. Detectives do not have evidence of criminal activity or suspicious trauma surrounding the death.

An earlier news release by the Fairfax Police:

Human Bones Found on Trail

Patrol officers from the Fair Oaks district responded to a report of possible human remains discovered by a resident in the 2900 block of Treadwell Lane in Herndon.

A resident saw the bones at around 5:20 p.m. on Sunday, February 8 and called police. The bones were adjacent to a nature walk path which is part of Difficult Run Stream Valley Park. Detectives from the Major Crimes Division and Crime Scene Section responded to the area and began their investigation.

The remains were determined to be human (not animal) by the Office of the Medical Examiner on Monday, February 9. Presently, it is under investigation as to how long the bones have been at that location, as well as their identity.

The cause of death will be investigated by the Office of the Medical Examiner. The investigation is underway.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637.

  • A-1 Service!