SHILOH — A forensic anthropology team spent the weekend at a remote wooded site near the village of Shiloh in Bradford Township, Clearfield County, recovering skeletal remains discovered Friday morning by a hunter.
In the meantime, law enforcement officials are examining missing persons lists in an attempt to link the remains to a missing persons case.
According to Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr., sometime around 9 or 9:30 a.m. on Friday, a hunter discovered what he believed to be human remains in a wooded area near Graham Road near the village of Shiloh. The hunter notified Clearfield-based State Police who responded to the scene.
“Troopers did a survey of the area and observed what they feel are indeed human skeletal remains,” Shaw confirmed in a telephone interview. He added that he was not called to the scene until around 3 p.m. Friday.
Shaw said clothing and other personal items were observed near the remains, and are believed to belong to the deceased.
“There were other items that are personal in nature, like clothing, in the vicinity of the remains who are likely belonging to the person,” Shaw said.
Troopers secured the area conducted a moderate survey of the area, and then notified Dr. Dirkmat, a forensic anthropologist at Mercyhurst University in Erie.
“(Dirkmat) is responding (Saturday) with his students and those folks will do a scene survey to recover all of the remains,” Shaw explained. “It’s anticipated that he will be able to do a forensic analysis and give us an identity and a cause and manner of death.”
Shaw described the situation as “unusual” for the Clearfield County region.
“It’s an unusual circumstance because we don’t normally find skeletal remains in the woods,” Shaw said.
He said Troopers have maintained custody of the scene since Friday and they will be there until Dirkmat finishes his recovery efforts.
“It’s a secured area,” Shaw said.
While the remains are being recovered and examined in an effort to make a positive identification, law enforcement officials are investigating unsolved missing persons cases.
“There area a couple of missing persons that we are looking at,” Shaw said. “We are investigating those reports.”