Federal Bureau of Investigation agents may get a call to help Lawrence police solve a mystery involving several human bones that were discovered in the basement at an East Lawrence residence.
Police Chief Ron Olin on Saturday said he expected to ask the FBI next week to help identify the bones, which were found by a Kansas University student at a rental house at 732 Conn. that at one time had a reputation as a drug house.
Ron Worley, the student who found the bones, said Saturday that authorities told him a total of five or six bones, including those from an arm, a leg and two hands, were found.
Olin said that a couple of years ago, the house had a reputation on the street as being a drug house. He said police had received intelligence information that drug use and trafficking were going on at the house.
Paul Horvath, who owns the house, said it had been vacant from the summer of 1990 until August, when Worley and four other tenants moved in.
OLIN SAID investigators were hoping that tissue on the bones would allow officials to conduct DNA tests that would help them identify the individual.
He said police did not have enough evidence to determine whether a murder had been committed.
Worley said investigators told him the arm bone had a bone spur that "would have given the person a lot of trouble." Such a condition might provide an eventual lead to help make an identification.
He said investigators told him the bones were probably those of a man who was less than 6 feet tall.
There were no marks on the bones and the bones were not broken, Worley said.
Worley said he discovered the bones on Sept. 25 in an earthen, 5-foot square area in the southeast part of the basement. He said he took them to a professor at Kansas University, who told him to contact David Frayer, a professor of anthropology. Frayer was out of town at the time.
On Friday, Worley said, he contacted Frayer, who examined the bones and told him to call police.
WORLEY SAID the first bone he found, the arm bone, was on the surface. He found other bones an inch or two beneath the soil, under a bathtub that had been placed against the east wall.
"I was under the impression that the bones were really old, because the stuff they were under looked like it was from the '50s. There were bottles were corks in them and stuff like that," he said.
Asked why he ventured into the basement, he said: "I was just poking around looking for things curiosities and such." He said the earthen floor was littered with junk.
Olin said investigators dug in the southeast corner and did a test dig in a similar area in the northeast corner. He said investigators felt assured that no other bones were at the house.
Police Lt. Mike Hall on Saturday said there were no active missing person cases that would help solve the mystery. And Olin said he did not believe the bones were those of alleged victims of Richard Grissom, who was convicted in November 1990 of killing two Lenexa women and an Overland Park woman.
The women's bodies were never found.
Olin said the investigation at the house ended about 1 p.m. Saturday. On Monday, authorities will go to work to try to identify the bones.
"This is one of those mysteries we may never have a solution for," Olin said.