Skeletal remains found in tent in wooded area
State police working to determine identity of the deceased
OXFORD » State police are working to identify the skeletal remains found Tuesday in a wooded area inside a tent.
Pennsylvania State Police Avondale Barracks requested the Chester County Coroner’s Office to investigate the death of an unidentified individual whose skeletal remains were found inside a tent in a wooded area, county officials announced on Friday. The tent was noticed by an employee of the Oxford Water Treatment Plant. It was not known how long the remains had been there.
No identification was found on the individual at the scene. The Chester County Coroner’s Office has made a tentative identification, according to county officials. However, a definitive confirmation of the individual’s identity is pending further testing.
Officials said one method of definitive identification is through dental confirmation, also known as forensic odontology. This confirmation is performed by a forensic odontologist who compares pre-mortem dental x-rays of the presumed individual with teeth found in the skeletal remains. Additional methods of definitive identification which may be used in some circumstances include visual confirmation, fingerprinting, or DNA.
The cause of death is pending further investigation by the Chester County Coroner’s Office.
A similar investigation began last year when human remains were found in March 2017 near Brandywine Hospital in Caln Township. A resident out for a walk made the discovery in the 1500 block of Fisherville Road, about 20 to 30 feet off the roadway. It took time for the remains to be identified, which investigators had believed matched a 52-year-old woman who disappeared shortly after she was discharged from Brandywine Hos-
pital in July 2016. Earlier this year on Jan. 8, investigators announced that those remains were of that missing person, identified as Barbara Keenan of Marcus Hook, Delaware County. The results of a forensic DNA analysis performed by the University of North Texas Center for
Human Identification provided the definitive identification.
The Chester County Coroner’s Office stated at the time that in the absence of further information regarding Keenan, the cause and manner of death remains undetermined. Prior to DNA testing, a forensic anthropological examination was performed and an examination did not reveal any suspicious findings.