Dr. Don Wiley, age 57, vanished December 16, 2001. He was a Molecular Biologist with Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, top Deadly Contagious Virus expert, abandoned rental car was found on the Hernando de Soto Bridge outside Memphis, TN. He was heavily involved in research on DNA sequencing, and was last seen at around midnight on November 16, leaving the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Advisory Dinner at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. Associates attending the dinner said he showed no signs of intoxication, and no one has admitted to drinking with him. Body found floating one month later.
Workers at a hydroelectric plant in Louisiana found the body of Don Wiley on Thursday, about 300 miles south of where the molecular biologist was last seen on Nov. 18 at a medical meeting in Memphis. On January 14, 2002 (almost two months later) Shelby County Medical Examiner O.C. Smith announced that his department had ruled Dr. Wiley’s death to be “accidental”; the result of massive injuries suffered in a fall from the Hernando de Soto Bridge. Smith said there were paint marks on Wiley’s rental car similar to the paint used on construction signs on the bridge, and that the car’s right front hubcap was missing. There has been no report as to which construction signs Dr. Wiley hit.