Forensics awaited on human remains

Hopes for identifying almost half a human skeleton, found by a road cleanup crew in northern Milam County Thursday, now rest with a team of forensics scientists at Texas State University.

Deputy Sheriff Chris White said about 40 percent of a skeleton was found by a crew doing cleanup work for the Texas Department of Transportation five miles north of Cameron.

White said the crew, cleaning an abandoned railroad bed five miles north of Texas near US 77, found a human skull about 10 a.m.

Law enforcement officials were called to the scene and located femurs (leg bones), ribs and part of a spine scattered over an area about 200-by-150 feet.

Also recovered were pants and shoes.

THEORIES—Investigators don’t know much about the bones, including whether the deceased was male or female. They don’t believe it was a child.

First theor y was that the remains were Bessie Ann Kutnak, a 63-year-old Cameron woman who disappeared in 1992.

But TXDOT officials told investigators their records show the area was mowed and cleaned last fall. That leaves investigators unsure if the remains could have been a previously unknown victim of a traffic accident or a homicide victim from elsewhere who was dumped at the scene.

FORENSICS—After Justice of the Peace Gary Northcott conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy, the remains were sent to Texas State.

White said it is hoped scientists there can reveal information as to age, sex, height, weight and more. Since an intact skull was recovered it’s possible an artist could construct an image of the person’s face.

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2011-01-20 digital edition

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