By Steve Miller

(CBS) — We’ve told you about the two wards of the state of Illinois who are John Does: No one seems to know who they really are – including the two men themselves.

WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

Robert Rockefeller and Shannon Night are the names they call themselves.

But those are not their real names.

If someone would identify them, it would be a step, possibly toward a better life.

Shannon Night, a stroke patient, could apply for Social Security Disability and Medicaid.  He’d get some spending money.

The only reason he’s at a state-run psychiatric facility is because that’s the only place for him to go.  If his identity is established, he could be placed in a group home, so some place less restrictive.

robt John Doe Mystery: Identification Eludes 2 Illinois Men

This John Doe — a man who doesn’t know his identity — goes by the name of Robert Rockefeller. (Steve Miller/WBBM)

Robert Rockefeller’s care at a private nursing home would be reimbursed by Medicaid and SSI — Supplemental Security Income.  He, too, would get a little spending money.

And besides the monetary reasons, Shannon’s former guardian Gary Doherty says there’s another reason to establish identity.

“I think just the solace in knowing who you are would be a good thing,” he says.

final john doe John Doe Mystery: Identification Eludes 2 Illinois Men

Anne Bielby, left; former guardian Gary Doherty, center; and “John Doe” Shannon Night. (Steve Miller/WBBM)

The irony is this: Neither Shannon nor Robert seems keen on knowing who they really are.

But their advocate Anne Bielby, a forensic artist, stays committed.

“We’ve got to assume everybody’s got someone who wants to know what happened to them,” she says.

The U.S. Justice Department has a national database of unidentified people.

shannon mugs John Doe Mystery: Identification Eludes 2 Illinois Men

This flyer seeks information about Shannon Night, a John Doe who is a ward of the state. (Steve Miller/WBBM)

rockefeller shots John Doe Mystery: Identification Eludes 2 Illinois Men

Here are photographs of “Robert Rockefeller” when he was younger; but who is he, really? (Steve Miller/WBBM)

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