UPDATE: Columbia police recover skeletal remains from bottom of bluffs

Saturday, July 3, 2010 | 9:34 p.m. CDT; updated 9:45 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 3, 2010
On May 28, Edward Acosta was released from University Hospital. He was last seen at the Hampton Inn that night. At 7 p.m. Friday, a body was found and Acosta’s belongings were found nearby. An autopsy will be performed Monday for positive identification.

COLUMBIA — Columbia police recovered skeletal remains Saturday morning from the base of large bluffs along Hinkson Creek.

The remains, which were found with some clothing attached, were discovered by a hiker Friday night in a wooded area behind the MU Museum of Anthropology's Museum Support Center at 1411 Rock Quarry Road. The hiker contacted MU police around 7 p.m.


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Rapidly decreasing light in the tree-covered area caused MU police to secure the location until Saturday morning. Daylight allowed Columbia police to better document and recover the remains, Jill Wieneke, public information officer for the Columbia Police Department, said.

A hat, cell phone and a bag with paperwork belonging to Edward Acosta were found above the body at the top of the bluff. Acosta was reported missing on May 30.

Police do not suspect foul play. Police said that one possibility is that Acosta might have accidentally fallen. Acosta was from Pulaski County and was probably unfamiliar with the area. He might not have known of the existence of the bluffs as he was walking.

Acosta was discharged from University Hospital on May 28, and he left at 10 p.m.

An employee at the Hampton Inn at 1225 Fellows Place told police that Acosta had come in that evening and inquired about a room, then he decided against renting one.

He was last seen heading east on foot from the hotel.

Police discovered from Acosta's cell phone that he accessed his voicemail at 12:30 a.m. May 29. No other calls were made after that time.

Acosta’s family was notified of the discovery Friday night.

An autopsy of the remains will most likely involve dental or DNA comparisons and is planned for Monday, Wieneke said. If a positive identification is not made on the body, investigators will pick the case back up as a death investigation and look at other missing persons in the area.

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