Skele­tal re­mains found in tent in wooded area

State po­lice work­ing to de­ter­mine iden­tity of the de­ceased

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ginger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

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.

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