Human remains still unidentified as investigation broadens
BEDFORD, Pa. (WJAC) —
The human remains that were found on a treacherous part of a hill off of Route 30 in Bedford County in late October remained unidentified this week, as investigators say they have "no idea" to whom they could belong.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Bedford County Coroner Rusty Styer said a forensic anthropology team from Mercyhurst University estimated that the remains are from a 5 feet, 11 inches tall white male who was older than 50 and that the remains had been there for three to 10 years.
The remains showed no signs of trauma, but did have marks apparently made by rodents or porcupines, Styer said. The remains represented roughly 10 percent of a human skeleton.
Styer said there was simply no other information available, as no identifying material was found anywhere near the remains.
DNA collected from the remains will be sent to the Missing Persons Unit of the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, where they will then be checked against a national database called the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.
The announcement ignited suspicion that the remains could belong to former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar, who mysteriously vanished in 2005. That case has fueled conspiracy theories online and puzzled investigators for years.
Bedford County officials said they have no reason to believe the remains belong to Gricar, and they declined to speculate on that case or any other. They cautioned that it could be months before they learn anything — if they learn anything at all — from CODIS.
Anybody with information, particularly about a missing person that fits the rough description sketched by forensic anthropologist, is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police.