WHEELING - Authorities have identified skeletal remains found outside an abandoned farmhouse on Stone and Shannon Road as 50-year-old David Bazo, and investigators are treating the death as a homicide, Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler said Monday.
Though authorities believe Bazo was murdered, they are not releasing a cause of death.
Bazo was born and raised in Ohio County but had been living in Florida when he went missing in August 2011, when he had been in the Wheeling area visiting family.
Police had been contacted in both the local area and Florida about Bazo's disappearance, but that information apparently was never entered into the National Crime Information Center database.
After the bones were found by a hiker April 14, investigators spent two days combing the crime scene for evidence. The West Virginia Medical Examiner's Office eventually enlisted the help of forensic anthropologists at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., to make a positive identification.
Authorities said there are no suspects at this time. Anyone who may have information should call the Ohio County Sheriff's Department at 304-234-3811.
More details in Tuesday's edition of The Intelligencer.