Discovery of body parts shuts down freeway

December 20, 2007 2:22:55 PM PST
What happened on the Gulf Freeway this morning? That's what Houston police want to know after human remains were found scattered across a quarter mile area. The discovery shut down the freeway for hours while investigators went to work. Exactly how the person ended up on the southbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway between Airport and Edgebrook is unknown. What police are telling us is that the body had been lying in the roadway for a while and worse yet, it was amid heavy holiday traffic.

"If it had been over a period of a couple of hours, there would have been hundreds of thousands of vehicles running past it," said Sergeant G.T. Hall with the Houston Police Department.

The first calls came in around 7am. Police say they responded, but in the rain and darkness, nothing was found. It was around 9am when a tow truck driver discovered what would turn out to be human remains scattered across the road.

Police shut down the southbound lanes of I-45. Drivers were stuck in a major backup.

"When I left to go to the doctor this morning, the traffic was bad," said driver Patricia Baker. "And I came back from the doctor and the traffic is still bad."

"I was on 610, it took us almost two hours to get here," added driver Haider Zaman.

Police say the evidence field stretched for about a quarter of a mile. The body was so badly destroyed it was unclear if the person was a man or a woman. A blue jean jacket was found nearby, but it's not clear if it belonged to the victim.

"The southbound lanes of I-45 reopened just before 1pm. Many drivers were put out, but understanding given the circumstances.

"A very big inconvenience, but since someone lost their life, it's not such an inconvenience," said Baker.

The remains have been taken to the Harris County medical examiner's office. They will try to determine this person's identity. Meantime, police are still looking for witnesses. If you saw anything, you're asked to call the Houston Police Department at 713-247-4065.


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