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Archive for Tuesday, October 6, 1992

CORONER FAILS TO SOLVE MYSTERY OVER BONES

October 6, 1992

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A deputy coroner's brief examination Monday didn't unlock the mystery involving several bones found in the basement of an East Lawrence home.

Deputy Coroner Dr. Laurance Price said he came to no conclusions during the examination except that the bones were human and that they were from extremities.

Price this morning said he could find no evidence of amputation or of homicide. He said he also could not determine how old the bones were.

Lawrence Police Sgt. Mark Warren this morning said investigators had made no breakthroughs on identifying the bones. He said investigators still had not called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance.

Price reportedly recommended that police seek more extensive laboratory tests to identify the bones. He would not comment today on his recommendations.

Ron Worley, a Kansas University student, found some of the bones while digging in an earthen area. He took the bones to David Frayer, a KU anthropology professor, who told him to contact police.

Frayer said police would have difficulty identifying the remains, which included arm, leg and hand bones.

"The stuff they found was not very diagnostic," Frayer said. "Dental records would be the best. That's why they went back to look for teeth."

"I don't think it was a student prank or a grave robbery. It's a real mystery. You never know what's going to pop up," he said.

Michael Strelow, who lives in the two-story house where the bones were found, said Monday that his roommates had used humor to deal with the situation.

"We understand it's a serious investigation. But at this point, we're trying to have fun with it," he said.

Strelow said a Halloween cutout of a human skeleton was hung outside the basement room where the bones were discovered.

Rachel Stewart, a KU student living in the house next door, said she hadn't lost any sleep over the matter.

"Whoever did the crime, or whatever it was, is long gone and I don't think they're coming back," she said.

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