Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 21, 2010

Human remains discovered

It could be months before remains found in eastern Pulaski are identified

Pulaski County, Ky — A set of skeletal remains have been found in eastern Pulaski County, and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has undertaken an investigation of the mystery.

On Monday, the sheriff’s department responded to a remote wooded area off East Adkins Arthur Road near the Rockcastle River, in the vicinity behind the SafeAuto Insurance call center. The report indicated that a land owner was walking through the area and discovered the apparently human remains.

Units from both the sheriff’s Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division res-ponded to the area, and had to travel by foot to the area of the discovery. The land owner directed investigators to the area where the partial remains were located, at the base of a small cliff.

Pulaski County Coroner Richard New collected the remains and found an immediate challenge in the task of identifying them.

“Due to the fact that there are no dental records we can match up, we will have to make a positive identification through DNA,” said New. “Unfortunately, it can take several months before those results come back from the lab.”

The remains were shipped off to Dr. Emily Craig at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for analysis to determine the possible cause and manner of death, as well as to determine the sex and approximate age of the victim.

However, according to New, she warned that backlogging meant it could be a long time before those facts are revealed — possibly as much as a year. It’s also a costly procedure, New noted, only that could cost Pulaski County $5,000 right out of its budget.

“It’s very expensive and very slow,” said New, “but in this case, we have no option.”

No determinations have been made yet, but investigators do have an idea to whom the remains may belong. 

In April 2003, Leroy Price — age 54 at the time of his disappearance — walked away from his residence on Price Valley Road, and was never seen or heard from again.

At that time, an extensive search was conducted by ground an air, with search teams and tracking dogs, but no sign of Price was found.

The area of the recent skeletal recovery is located approximately three to four miles from Price’s residence.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the remains may belong to Price, though they caution that a positive identification will not be made until after the bones re examined by Dr. Craig’s office.

“We do have a suspicion about who we believe it could be due to a missing persons report from seven years ago,” said New, “but we can’t work on assumptions.”

New did not that the bones did not appear to exhibit signs of injury upon initial examination, but there was some clothing discovered with the remains.

Investigators have met with Price’s family members about this discovery and they area anxiously awaiting an update on a  possible investigation as well as a cause of death.

The investigation is continuing with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office.

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