Personal effects provide vital clues in skeleton mystery


By Jonathan Delozier - news@theoberlinnews.com



Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.


Deputy coroner Frank Miller and Lorain County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Randal Koubeck speak at a press conference about steps they are taking to solve the mystery of the skeletal remains discovered on Rt. 58 south of Wellington.


A belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.


A belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.


A belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.


Tattered clothing and jewelry could provide vital clues to the identity of a skeleton found March 22 on the side of a Huntington Township road.

A spaghetti-strapped top, a single button high-waisted sweater, and a Victoria’s Secret sequin underwire bra and matching panties were discovered with the bones on private property near Rt. 58 and New London Eastern Road.

Jewelry and accessories included a wristwatch, a belt buckle, a bracelet, an earring stud, and artificial nails.

The effects were shown to reporters Thursday at a press conference held by Sgt. Randal Koubeck and chief deputy coroner Frank Miller at the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office in Elyria Township.

“We are working with Victoria’s Secret management to determine what time period the undergarments were manufactured in,” said Koubeck. “We had the watch examined by a jeweler, and determined that it is still in production. The watch manufacturer, Peugeot, informed us that it is a 30-year old model.”

Miller said the victim, who has not yet been identified, appears to be a white woman who at the time of death was in her late teens to early thirties, and measuring between 4 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 5 inches in height.

Dental examination revealed major crowding due to impacted wisdom teeth, as well as at least two fillings.

Six to eight inches of soil were covering the remains, which suggests that it was naturally buried over the course of time, rather than being purposely covered up when the body was placed there, said Miller.

“Partial sun bleaching and the depth of the remains points to a surface burial or no burial at all,” he said. “Death occurred at least two years ago, but two to 20 years is our conservative estimate. Obviously, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the date considering the time passed and the outdoor environment.”

“All soft tissue was deteriorated, but these still may be the most extensive remains that we have investigated in my time at this office,” said Koubeck. “Everything was in complete anatomical order when discovered, despite some noticeable animal interaction.”

The Mercyherst Forensic Anthropology Laboratory in Erie, Pa., is handling the remains.

“The next step when we get the skeleton back is DNA testing,” said Miller. “That testing, though, will probably be limited to mitochondrial DNA, which can only determine maternal relatives. Beyond that, we also want to send out the skull for facial reconstruction.”

High grass was the main contributor in hiding the remains before they were discovered by property owner Tom Jordan just 40 to 50 feet from the road.

“We’re investigating everything,” Koubeck said. “Based on where it (was discovered), it’s a little unusual. It’s our custom to treat everything as unusual and suspicious until we don’t have a reason to.”

No further leads exist, but both Koubeck and Miller emphasized that the local effort is just the first step toward a national one involving the FBI and other missing person entities.

“Tips will be extremely important in this process and we hope that the details of the clothing and jewelry will compel someone to come forward with new information,” added Koubeck. “Priority one is finding out who this person was and what led to their death.”

Anyone that may have further information regarding the investigation is asked to contact the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office detective bureau at 440-329-3742.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_DSC_9686.jpg

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_DSC_9688.jpg

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_DSC_9689.jpg

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and LCSO These garments were discovered with the body of a deceased woman March 22 in Huntington Township. Investigators say they could provide clues as to her identity.

Deputy coroner Frank Miller and Lorain County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Randal Koubeck speak at a press conference about steps they are taking to solve the mystery of the skeletal remains discovered on Rt. 58 south of Wellington.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_DSC_9692.jpgDeputy coroner Frank Miller and Lorain County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Randal Koubeck speak at a press conference about steps they are taking to solve the mystery of the skeletal remains discovered on Rt. 58 south of Wellington.

A belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_IMG_3737.jpgA belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.

A belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_IMG_3742.jpgA belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.

A belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/04/web1_IMG_3748.jpgA belt buckle, watch, and artificial nails were discovered with the body, along with a bracelet and earring stud were also found.

By Jonathan Delozier

news@theoberlinnews.com