Skeletal Remains Sent to Smithsonian

WHEELING – Human skeletal remains found in an abandoned house on Stone & Shannon Road by hikers are being examined by forensic anthropologists with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler said the bones were collected by his evidence response team in April and sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Charleston. That office then decided to send the remains to the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology.

“They hope to identify the person and try and determine a cause of death,” Butler said Wednesday.

Butler said this is, as far as he knows, the first time the sheriff’s department has had skeletal remains sent to the Smithsonian for review.

Butler said he did not know how long the house had been abandoned, but even if he had such information, he could not release it because the investigation still is active.

He did not know when he would receive more information about the remains. Butler previously said he did not want to disclose the location of the house because he wanted to prevent people from interfering with the investigation.

According to the Smithsonian website, the Department of Anthropology has assisted law enforcement and medical examiners analyze remains to discover a person’s cause of death and identity since 1903.