Gruesome discovery leads to investigative mystery with few clues

Experts say they will need to use DNA to try to identify the person whose remains were found
February 15, 2014 12:13:59 PM PST
A group of teenagers made a gruesome discovery in northwest Harris County on Thursday, when they found skeletal remains in a detention basin. Now the medical examiner is trying to identify that person, and figure out what happened.

Neighbors tell me kids and adults walk and play along this bayou all the time. The remains were found Thursday evening and investigators are hoping modern forensics will help put a face to the bones.

Near the rocky slop of the detention basin in northwest Harris County, three teenagers stumbled upon something unusual.

"They came upon what they believed to be skeletal remains in the detention pond," said Sgt. Ben Beall with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The body was badly decomposed and had been there for several weeks. The clothing was mostly gone and there's no face, no race and no fingerprints.

Sgt. Beall said, "We can't even tell the sex of the victim at this point."

investigators only have bones to go on.

Harris County anthropologist Dr. Jennifer Love explained, "We really have to use other clues that may help us."

Dr. Love says what appear to be just bones for some is actually a wealth of evidence for her. The clues to identifying victims are there.

"If there is a biological relative of the decedent, we can compare the biological relative to the decedents DNA and establish a match and confirm ID that way," she said.

Investigators said the body was washed up here. They don't believe it was from this general area. Now investigators are just waiting for more information from the medical examiner's office.

Find Foti on Facebook at ReporterFotiKallergis or on Twitter at @FotiKallergis

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