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AL: Remains found in Argo area
Topic Started: Dec 16 2011, 09:45 PM (281 Views)
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Skeletal remains found in Argo area
The Daily Home
Dec 16, 2011 | 873 views | 0 | 2 | |
ARGO – Foul play is suspected involving the skeletal remains of a human body found in the Argo area Wednesday afternoon.

St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said he will take the skeletal remains found to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science today.

He said skeletal remains were found in a wooded area at the end of Hidden Valley Drive. He said the location where the body was found has an Odenville address but the location is actually in the Argo area.

“Foul play is suspected,” Russell said.

Russell said forensic sciences experts will examine the remains and other items found at the scene.

Russell said an anthropologist will examine the skeletal remains to determine the age and sex of the victim, as well as the cause of death and the length of time the body remained in the woods.

He said the skeletal remains were found Wednesday at about 1:30 p.m., by surveyors.

Russell said the body was recovered Thursday, and the area where the skeletal remains were found was scoured by investigators.

Thomas Payne, 28, of Marion, said Thursday he saw authorities along Hidden Valley Drive, where his grandfather, sister and her three children live.

Payne said he attempted to wave down officers to see what was going on but nobody would stop and talk to him.

“I’m shocked,” Payne said after finding out late Thursday about the recovery of skeletal remains. “That’s very disturbing.”

He said his family has lived on Hidden Valley Drive for the past 16 years, and he resided there with his grandfather for about 10 years before he got married. He said his grandfather has medical problems, and he was there helping his family.

Payne said it frightens him to know that skeletal remains were found so close to where his grandfather, sister and her three children live.

“That’s scary to know there was someone dead over there for that long,” he said.

Derrick Hamrick of Odenville, a project manager for Larry Walker Land Surveying, was one of three surveyors who found the skeleton Wednesday and called the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.

"I hate it, but maybe it will bring closure for someone," Hamrick said.

He said the crew of three men were doing a boundry survey, flagging lines, when one of the crew members, Adam Buse of Pleasant Valley in Calhoun County, approached him.

"Adam said, 'I think I just saw a skull," Hamrick said. "I said, 'Surely not.'"

The men walked down a shallow hollow where Hamrick said they just stopped in our tracks.

"I wasn't sure if it was real, but it was definitely real," he said.

He said the skeletal remains were about 200 feet from the end of Hidden Valley Drive.

Hamrick said they met St. Clair County investigators and led them to the skeleton.

He said investigators roped off the area and took their statments.

"I hope to not find anything like that again," Hamrick said.

St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor said he could not discuss details surrounding the recovery of the skeletal remains, but would only say there is an ongoing investigation.

St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles was not available for immediate comment Thursday.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

Read more: The Daily Home - Skeletal remains found in Argo area


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Authorities seek help identifying remains found near Argo
Dec 17, 2011

ST. CLAIR COUNTY — Authorities are asking for information from the public after human remains were discovered near Argo this week.

St. Clair County sheriff Terry Surles said Friday that the remains — found Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area near Hidden Valley Drive — have been transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville. He said, however, that he is unsure when his office might be able to identify the remains.

“Right now we have no pathological opinion on it,” Surles said. “We appreciate any help; if anybody knows of anybody that’s missing, I would entertain them calling and would appreciate that very much.”

Surles said the remains most likely belong to a female with dark hair. He also said that authorities recovered an earring from the scene.

“It’s a large earring with butterflies that dangle,” he said. “That’s about all we’ve got to go on right now.”

He also said that the person likely would have been missing “within the last 2-3 months.”

“That’s the people on the scene out there, people who have seen this in the past, making their own estimates,” Surles said.

A crew of three surveyors from Odenville first discovered the remains Wednesday afternoon, in an unincorporated area near Freeze Mountain in Argo. Surles said Friday that the site where remains were discovered is near Interstate 59 and roughly 80 yards away from a residence.

Deputies, along with officials from Argo Police Department and the Alabama Bureau of Investigations, spent Wednesday night and most of Thursday investigating the scene.

At press time, Surles said the investigation has turned up “nothing concrete.”

“We’ve got some people we’re talking to, but we don’t have anybody to point a finger at right now,” he said. “If we can get the body identified, then we can go and backtrack.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the sheriff’s department at 205-884-6840, or 205-594-2140.
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