Vance John Rodriguez was a man who was found deceased in Florida in 2018. He used the names "Mostly Harmless", "Denim" and "Ben Bilemy."
In December, 2020, he was identified as Vance Rodriguez, who was originally from Louisiana but based in Brooklyn, New York and his identity was publicly released in January 2021.
Rodriguez was an IT worker based in Brooklyn, New York but had ties to Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Rodriguez set out to hike the Appalachian Trails near New York City in 2017, and left any identifying documents behind in his apartment.
On July 23, 2018, hikers stopped on the Florida Trail at a picnic table in Ochopee, Florida. They discovered a yellow tent and Rodriguez' body inside after yelling out and receiving no response.
There was no identification found on the body or at the campsite. He appeared to be living at the park and did not seem to be in good health. He used the name "Ben Bilemy" at various hostels across Virginia, Georgia and Florida. He also used the names "Denim" and "Mostly Harmless". The name "Mostly Harmless" might be a reference to a character in Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
In July 2020, it was announced that the Collier County Sheriff's Office was working with Othram, Inc. to identify the decedent through forensic genealogy. However, a former co-worker of Rodriguez' saw his photographs and recognized the resemblance, and contacted law enforcement. After reaching out to his family in Louisiana, law enforcement were able to confirm the match.
- Dark brown hair with some gray.
- Blue eyes.
- Brown/gray beard.
- Possible indistinct fine linear scar across the abdomen. Very faint.
- He had perfect teeth.
- Beige Shirt.
- Neon green shorts with gray accents.
- Gray Russell "Performance" underwear (Size M).
- Columbia baseball hat, possibly gray and white (very dirty).
- Yellow two-man tent (Manufacturer: Brooks-Range Mountaineering, Model: Foray).
- Yellow sleeping bag.
- Two hiking poles, black and copper (Brand "Outdoor Products").
- One yellow and gray Isobutane 110 G fuel cartridge.
- Bluegreen Nalgene water bottle.
- $3,600 found in the tent.