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Human remains found in York County determined to be those of homicide victim

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Detectives in York County are closer to identifying the person whose human remains were found near a shopping mall last November.  Through forensic analysis, investigators say a man was killed and left near the West Manchester Mall for up to 10 years.

West Manchester Police Detective Sergeant, Jeffrey Snell says, “Before you can investigate a homicide, you have to know who your victim is.”

A forensic sketch has been made of the homicide victim.  His remains were discovered in November, near the Haviland and Loucks Road Intersection.  Authorities say the body was there for at least 3 years and up to 10 years.  Tree trimmers found the man’s skull in a wooded area.  Then, the forensic investigation began.

Snell says, “Our search is going East of the Mississippi River. We’ve taken a look at individuals locally, in PA. Reached out to Police departments in 24 different states in an attempt to identify who John Doe is at this point.”

Detectives say an accurate match of a reported missing person will help their investigation.  The man had an upper dental plate with missing teeth.  So investigators say they can go back and contact dentists of the missing person.

But without a missing report, detectives face challenges.

West Manchester Township Detective, Sean Conway says, “If this is a case where we’re dealing with someone never reported missing, it’s a long road ahead of us.”

Snell says, “Somebody out there knows what happened. There are people that have the answers and if we can identify this victim, we can seek those people out and get those answers.”

Police say the man was 30-50 years old when he died.  Once the man is identified, investigators can begin searching for the suspect.  In about a month, investigators will learn more information about the man’s identity because his bones are currently being processed in a lab.