Human Skull Found Along Ohio River - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Human Skull Found Along Ohio River



Human Skull Found Along Ohio River
By: Amy Jacquin

BALLARD COUNTY, KY -- A fisherman makes a grisly discovery on the Ohio River. A human skull partially exposed on a river bank. It's near the Barlow Bottoms, about a half mile north of the Mound City, IL, elevator terminal. Careful digging uncovered other bone fragments as well.

A normally peaceful, remote stretch of Ohio River in Ballard County near Barlow, is seeing more traffic than normal. Police and a forensic anthropologists with the state medical examiner's office can access the discovery scene only by boat. Trooper Barry Meadows with Kentucky State Police describes what they found. "A skull, a jaw, an upper arm, a shoulder blade, and some ribs."

They hoped the attached teeth would help with identification, "The fact he's had no dental work is going to complicate the matter quite a bit," says forensic anthropologist Emily Craig, Ph.D. She knows the remains belonged to a black man, and that he died several years ago. "A male basically is based on the brow ridge, the shape of the jaw, and this bone right here, behind the ear," Dr Craig describes how she identified the sex. "She'll be able to rebuild this face, and do some work with it and rebuild the skull to hopefully get it the way it's should look," adds Trooper Meadows.

Dr craig can garnish DNA from the bones, but "DNA is a genetic code," she stresses. "It's not a bar code. You still have to have something to compare it to." Police are trying to help, by pulling all missing-persons files from along the river. Meanwhile, they say the bones show no obvious clues as to how the man died.

They'll do lots more testing, which is a lengthy process. So it will likely be a while before we know exactly who he was, or how he died.

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