BALTIMORE (AP) — An unidentified body exhumed in Alabama is not the man accused of using a sledgehammer to kill his family in Maryland in 1976, the FBI said Wednesday.
The FBI had said photos of the unidentified hitchhiker who was killed in a hit-and-run looked like William Bradford “Brad” Bishop Jr., but using DNA, agency scientists determined it was not him, spokeswoman Amy Thoreson said in an email.
Bishop was accused of killing his wife, mother and three sons in their Bethesda, Maryland, home in 1976. Authorities later found the bodies burned in North Carolina and Bishop’s station wagon in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park south of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Last year, a Scottsboro, Alabama, police officer began a campaign to publicize the hit-and-run cold case, resulting in a story in the local newspaper. The FBI also renewed its investigation into the disappearance of Bishop. He was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List in April and his case was featured on the CNN program “The Hunt with John Walsh.”
Scottsboro resident Jeremy Collins saw the program and noticed similarities between Bishop’s picture and the hitchhiker’s photo. He called police and the body was exhumed.
Thoreson said she did not know if the FBI had identified the body.