Body recovered in Poarch

Published 12:55 pm Monday, November 17, 2003

By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
Law enforcement officials are conducting tests to try and identify skeletal remains found Wednesday evening in Poarch.
Two teen-agers found the human skeleton in the woods near their home. Their parents contacted the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, which is conducting the investigation. A pathologist and an investigator from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences arrived Thursday morning and collected evidence. A forensic mapping expert from Andalusia Police Department also came to assist in documenting the scene.
"It is premature to speculate as to the identity of the person found," Capt. Chuck McMullen said in a media release.
Officials said the skeleton appeared to have been in the woods for several months, although an exact time frame was not established. No items of evidence, which could help identify the remains, were recovered from the scene.
Remains have been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for testing and identification. Mcmullen said the department could use DNA testing in the identity process, trying to match the remains to samples from relatives of reported missing individuals in the area. That process could take several months, McMullen said.
"There is no suspicion of foul play, but we will continue to investigate the incident like there is foul play involved until it can be ruled out," McMullen said.
Sheriff Grover Smith announced late Friday the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences contacted investigators with some preliminary findings from the examination of the skeletal remains.
The remains are of an elderly man. There are no obvious signs of trauma that would reveal the cause of death. It is undetermined yet if DNA will be recovered from the remains.

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