Remains found: Police trying to identify woman’s body
Friday, December 28, 2007 12:00 AM EST
SOMERSET TOWNSHIP — State police have not been able to identify a woman whose skeletal remains were found near the Somerset Industrial Park on Wednesday evening.
Police hope to identify the woman after her remains are investigated by the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute in Erie, Cpl. Jeff Doman said.
The remains were found by a resident walking in a wooded area about 50 yards from Industrial Park Road.
“The area was secured by state police until a team from Mercyhurst came in,” Doman said during a press conference Thursday afternoon. “We recovered the skeletal remains and the body was taken to Somerset Hospital.”
State police said there is no indication of foul play in the woman’s death.
“The body was not completely decomposed and the bones were intact,” Doman said.
Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said an investigative team at Mercyhurst College should be able to determine the cause of death. The team is being led by Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, who assisted Miller after the crash of United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.
“They can look over the bones for any traumatic shock,” Miller said.
He estimated the woman’s body has been at the industrial park since the summer.
State police said the woman had brown hair, a slight build, was between the ages of 30 and 40 and was wearing a black jacket, white shirt and black denim jeans.
“We think she was a traveler based on the limited number of items at the scene,” Doman said.
He said the woman is believed to have spent time in Raleigh, N.C., and at one time was on Interstate 80 based on evidence left at the scene.
Police do not know how the woman got to Somerset County from North Carolina, he said.
“This is sketchy information at this time, but if anybody knows anything they are asked to call the state police,” Doman said.
Pennsylvania State Police have contacted North Carolina authorities in an attempt to identify the woman, he said.
“She’s been missing for a while and nobody has reported it,” he said.
Doman said anybody with information is asked to call state police at 445-4104.
CUE Center for Missing Persons
PO Box 12714
Wilmington, NC 28405
(910) 232-1687 24 Hour Line