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October 13. 2013 12:53PM

Remains found in Hernandez search may be man missing for several years

CONWAY -- Human bones found during the search for Abby Hernandez near Conway may be those of a man who has been missing for about seven years, a top state fish and game official said Sunday.

A line search of wooded terrain turned up a portion of a skull and teeth, officials said. A line search involves a group of people walking shoulder-to-shoulder as they comb through an area of wilderness.

The state medical examiner's office was called in to remove the bones. DNA testing will be performed in an attempt to identify the remains.

Major Kevin Jordan of the Fish and Game Department said his agency is particularly interested in determining whether the remains are those of a man who was reported missing several years ago. Jordan said Sunday he had not yet spoken to the man's family and did not want to release his name, since it is not yet clear where the person died or how the partial remains ended up in a particular spot.

“It could have been brought there by an animal,” he said. “It could have washed there in the floods.”

The closest landmark to the bones is the Mount Cranmore resort.

Jordan said the remains which were found include teeth which could mean the person could be identified through dental records.

The decision to release the information about the discovery was made after consultation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The call for the medical examiner to come to the area was made over police radios, which could lead some to speculate that the search for the Hernandez girl had reached an unfortunate conclusion. Jordan said investigators were concerned that the speculation could lead some people with potentially helpful information to assume their help was not needed.


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