Human remains were found by an isolated area of Dutilh Road in Cranberry Township on February 16.
Officials stated that a man stumbled upon the remains around 2:30 P.M. on Saturday. “He was walking to the Cranberry Mall just to get some drinks. During his walk, he found some skeletal remains,” said Sergeant Chuck Mascellino. The man, who had been visiting a patient at UPMC Passavant, called 911 after finding the remains, according to the Cranberry Patch.
A wallet containing identification was found near the remains. The information found in the wallet leads officials to suspect that the remains are of a Beaver County man who went missing in July. The name of the man is unable to be released until a positive identification is confirmed, according to WTAE. Mascellino stated that the family of the man reached out to police after the remains were discovered. He also explained that identification may be made within a few weeks and that foul play is not suspected.
According to WPXI, Dennis Dirkmaat, the Forensic Sciences Director at Mercyhurst University, was called in to investigate the scene. “We have a set of remains that are essentially on the surface. We have removed all of the vegetation from around the remains, so that we can see the exact position or orientation,” Dirkmaat told WTAE. He and his team spent hours processing the scene, gathering the remains, and searching for any other bones or clues.
The investigative team was unable to say exactly how long the remains had been on the lot. However, Dirkmaat said that it is possible that the skeleton has been on the side of Dutilh Road for months. “When it’s skeletonized, it’s been a while,” he stated.
The remains will be moved to Mercyhurst University for an in-depth analysis, according to WPXI. “Since the remains are primarily skeletonized, we’ll do a complete forensic anthropological analysis of it to determine the age, the sex, the stature, the ancestry,” Dirkmaat told WTAE.