The man found deceased on November 11 in the area of North Bridge and Gould Streets by the Humboldt River has been positively identified as Jory Nordquist. The identification was made after an autopsy was performed by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The positive identification was made in a report released to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Coroner on December 14, 2017 by the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office. Nordquist, age 61, had been a resident of the Winnemucca area.
Law enforcement and medical personnel were called when a deceased man was found near the river, inside a sleeping bag last month. However, the identity of the deceased man was not known until the completion of the autopsy. WPD detectives have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the death since that time and have been asking for the public’s help.
A WPD release noted, “There are many rumors circulating on social media about the circumstances surrounding the deceased, but keep in mind that there is a lot of misinformation and speculation. The only official information will be posted by the Winnemucca Police Department. As more information becomes available, we will be providing further updates.
“Remember, this is an active and ongoing investigation. To protect the integrity of this case we ask that our community be patient as this case is thoroughly investigated for the benefit of the deceased.”
A Facebook page “Finding Jory in Winnemucca,” has a local following of people who knew the homeless man. Many people shared their experiences of meeting Nordquist and being impressed with his kindness. The Facebook page has now been renamed “Remembering Jory in Winnemucca.”
Tim and Janet Vaughan opened their home to Nordquist’s two dogs, Deborah and Gideon, after Nordquist disappeared. The Vaughans have posted pictures and videos of the dogs, including one of their visit to Santa and Mrs. Claus during the recent “Santa Paws” event offering photos of animal family members with the famous couple.
The Vaughans said, “We were sad to learn of Jory’s death on Friday, December 15, by means of the Winnemucca Police Department’s updated press release regarding the body found in the sleeping bag on Friday, November 11. In the time since beginning this journey with Gideon and Deborah, we have learned that Jory, Deborah and Gideon have many friends in the community. Many have contacted us by social media (Facebook) to ask about the dogs. To keep everyone informed, we have set-up a Facebook Group, “At Home with Deborah and Gideon,” where we post photos, videos and information about the dogs."
Friends are working on funeral arrangements for Nordquist, according to the “Remembering Jory” Facebook page.
Although law enforcement has confirmed the positive identification of the deceased homeless man as Nordquist, they have not released the cause of his death. Winnemucca Police Captain Pam Coats said, “To protect the integrity of this case, the cause of death is not being released at this time due to an on-going investigation being conducted by the Winnemucca Police Department.”
WPD is encouraging anyone with information to contact the WPD at (775) 623-6396 or Secret Witness at (775) 623-6969.