Forensic Experts Gather Clues To Skeleton's Identity The Remains Were Found In May. The Man Had Been Shot In The Face One To Two Years Earlier.

Posted: September 23, 1993

An unidentified man whose skeleton was found May 19 in a ditch along U.S. Route 1 in Falls Township apparently was a homicide victim who was shot in the face, an extensive examination of the remains has revealed.

Detective George Mitchell of the Falls Township police said yesterday that the forensic examination by pathologists at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington also revealed that the victim was probably of Hispanic ancestry, 38 to 42 years old, and had been dead one to two years.

Two boys walking along the road spotted the remains in a ditch about 20 feet off Route 1, near Stony Hill Road.

An initial autopsy and forensic examination by Halbert A. Fillinger, the Bucks County medical examiner, determined an approximate age for the victim but was unable to establish his race or cause of death. Police had listed the death as suspicious because a small-caliber bullet was found near the skeleton. A gold diamond stud earring was also found nearby and might have been worn by the victim.

Smithsonian forensic experts determined that the dead man was of thin to medium build and was 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches tall, Mitchell said. The experts also said there was a slight chance that the man is of Vietnamese ancestry, Mitchell said.

The findings also revealed that the man suffered from extensive osteoporosis of the thoracic vertebrae, indicating that he might have done hard labor and might have walked with a limp. Injuries to the skull and right side of the chin were determined to be unrelated to the death.

Clothing found near the skeleton included jeans and Jockey briefs. Because no shoes were found, police believe the man might have been killed elsewhere.

Mitchell asked that anyone with information about the man's identity contact the Falls Township Police Department at 736-3091.

|
|
|
|
|