|Ricky McCormick and his code (courtesy St. Louis Post-Dispatch)|
The FBI is asking for help from the public to help crack a code that was found with a dead man in St. Charles County in 1999.
Both the FBI and investigators with the St. Charles County sheriff's office believe forty one year-old Ricky McCormick was murdered, but the medical examiner ruled the man's death "suspicious." McCormick's body was already decomposing when it was discovered and made work difficult for the ME; however, investigators were intrigued by an injury to McCormick's head.
On Tuesday March 29th the FBI released two encrypted notes found in Ricky McCormick’s pants pocket on June 30, 1999. They believe if they can crack the code, agents might be able to retrace McCormick's steps in the days that led to his murder and bring a resolution to this case.
The last sighting of McCormick was five days before his body was found near a cornfield off of Highway 367 near West Alton, when he received medication from a doctor at Forest Park Hospital in St. Louis for chronic heart and lung problems.
He had a minimal criminal record but nothing that investigators believed would have contributed to his death. No one had reported McCormick missing and he was identified by fingerprints.
In a news release the FBI said, "Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick's murderer has yet to face justice."
There is no reward being offered, just a challenge, the satisfaction and bragging rights that you helped the FBI possibly bring a killer to justice.
The FBI said breaking any code involves four basic steps: