Human remains found behind strip mall identified as male; Missouri driver's license located nearby

John Wietholder, a patrol officer with the Quincy Police Department, stands near the perimeter of an area were remains were found Wednesday night. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Apr. 24, 2014 11:18 am Updated: May. 8, 2014 1:15 pm
Quincy Police Department investigators take photos of the area where human remains were found behind the Oak Street Mall. (H-W Photo/Don O'Brien)
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Quincy police are trying to identify remains found Wednesday night in the area north of the Oak Street Mall, 5009 Oak.

Investigators were at the scene in a grassy area behind the shopping center throughout Thursday gathering the remains.

“We don’t know if it’s a crime yet,” Lt. Dina Dreyer said. “We’re just working the scene and looking at what we have.”

A man out looking for his dog reported finding human remains. Lt. Dina Dreyer says remains were found around 8:42 p.m. Wednesday. Dreyer said it was too dark to search on Wednesday. Police officers remained on the scene throughout the night, and four investigators started their work early Thursday in a remote area southeast of a pond behind the building. Dreyer said the remains were found on the surface and scattered over different areas.

“We are finding bones and skeletal remains at this point,” Dreyer said late Thursday morning. “There isn’t much left except for skeletal remains. Because it’s been here for quite some time, it’s not all together. We want to be careful and get everything that we can.”

Dreyer said the remains had been there for at least a year. She said the person had been identified as a male, but the name of the victim will not be released until a positive identification is made. A driver’s license was found near where the remains were found.

“We are assuming that’s probably the identity of the person, but we’re not sure so we’re following up on that,” she said.  

Dreyer said she believed the person was not from Quincy and that the driver’s license had a Missouri address on it.

“We will be checking with family members and we’ll be in close contact with pathologist and make sure we’re on the right track and trying to piece the two things together with the ID and the remains,” she said.

Investigators combed a grassy area behind the shopping center, which his just north of Broadway. The area also features a pond and a neighborhood nearby. Dreyer said the person who found the remains did not live in the area. He was on a shopping trip to the nearby Wal-Mart when he let his dog out of his vehicle. The person went looking for the dog in a grassy area near a pond behind the Oak Street Mall when the dog didn’t return.

“The dog just didn’t come back right away so the owner went to look for the dog,” Dreyer said. “He found the ID and subsequenlty found what he thought looked like human remains and called us right away.”

No cause of death has been determined. Adams County Coroner Jim Keller, who was at the scene on Thursday morning, said the coroner’s office will examine the remains.

This story has been updated since its original posting on Thursday, April 24.

Investigators recover evidence Thursday at the scene where human remains were found in an area north of the Oak Street Mall, 5009 Oak. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)