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1988 Kenosha County John Doe Homicide Victim ID'd as Con Artist

July 17, 2019 11:40a; Edited at 6p for clarity

(WGTD)---The partially decomposed body of a man found in a shallow grave by Kenosha County road construction workers in 1988 is that of a con artist who authorities believe was killed in Chicago then dumped in Wisconsin. 

Robert Lyle Schwartz, who was 44 when he was killed, was identified as the long-running Joe Doe victim at a news conference held Wednesday by Kenosha County Sheriff Dave Beth and Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall.

Schwartz' family never reported him missing, thinking that his criminal lifestyle had finally caught up to him, Hall said.

Schwartz served time in a California prison for fraud. His specialty was selling worthless certificates for silver bullion.

Authorities believe Schwartz was strangled in a parking ramp at O'Hare after flying in. A suspect in the case has since died, Beth said.

The body was found in 1988 by crews in Pleasant Prairie that at the time were building State Highway 165.

Investigators back then had little to go on, although they noticed that their victim apparently had expensive tastes and was well-groomed. He was wearing designer clothes, including a Hermes Sports sweater, a Ted Lapidus shirt and Saks Fifth Avenue underwear. 

Because the matter was the subject of a grand jury proceeding, addiitional details couldn't be released, Beth said.  

Schwartz apparently had no permanent address.  

What cracked the case was new fingerprint technology that quickly assisted investigators in coming up with a match.  Although the discovery was made two years ago, authorities kept the news under wraps as they continued to search for next of kin and the killer. 

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