Autopsy to confirm identity of body found in Columbia

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | 12:19 a.m. CST; updated 11:33 a.m. CST, Tuesday, March 9, 2010

COLUMBIA — Pieces of clothing collected from the remains of the dead body found over the weekend have given police a lead in identifying the skeleton.

The garments included jeans, boxer shorts and tennis shoes.

“The clothes were not pristine, but they were in good enough shape for us to use them to get good leads,” Jessie Haden, spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department, said.

The remains were discovered Saturday by a 13-year-old near the Boone County Jail.
Police obtained dental records from the family of the suspected deceased.

“We’ve had a discussion with the family, and they’ve been helpful for us to get the records,” Haden said.

Dori Burke, chief investigator for the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office, said they were not able to look at the remains Monday, but will have time to do the autopsy and verify the dental records today.

Burke previously told the Missourian that the cause of death is unknown, but there doesn’t appear to be outward signs of trauma.

After the autopsy is finished, the remains are to be further inspected by Mark Beary, an anthropologist at MU.

“We have an anthropologist look at the skeleton and narrow down a time frame,” said Haden. “We don’t know how long he’s been out there, and we need his expertise to help with that.”

Haden said a news release will be put out the moment an identification is made.

“It’s just going to be a matter of waiting for the experts to take a look at the evidence,” Haden said.

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