Sheriff: ‘We need the public’s help’ to solve remains case

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CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) – The bones that were found near Grand Lake St. Mary and sent to a lab in Texas have been tested and the Mercer County Sheriff says the results are back.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said in a briefing Thursday they now have complete mitochondrial and nuclear DNA profiles from the bones that were found in a state park off U.S. 127 in January but they still need more information.You can watch that briefing live here:

Grey says investigators are now confident the victim is a male between 20 and 35 years of age and between 5-feet 7-inches and 6-feet 1-inch in height. Grey was not able to provide much more information than that.

The Mercer County Sheriff has asked for help from everyone they could think of, including Ancestry.com in hopes they could help with phenotypic DNA testing to get more specific information about the victim, but have so far been unsuccessful.

You can watch the full press briefing here:

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As for the investigation, Grey did say they are confident this is a homicide case and the victim did not die from natural causes. He said they have received 28 tips on the case so far, a dozen of which are still open.

Sheriff Grey explained they have sent priority messages to surrounding states and every law enforcement agency along U.S. 127 which runs from Michigan to Tennessee, and U.S. 27 which continues to Florida from Tennessee.

Grey stressed the importance of getting help from the public. He explained that the DNA information in the databases are from people who have been arrested, in Ohio only of felonies, or people who have been reported missing. The only way to get into the database is to have information entered by a law enforcement agency.

Grey asked anyone watching that if you have a missing person in your family you should contact the law enforcement agency and make sure the DNA information was entered into the databases. The Sheriff said had until this case began they were unaware of the statewide and nationwide databases and the system to help identify missing persons.

The remains in this case were found January 3 and Sheriff Grey said at the time there was a high probability the remains were human.

Shortly after that the remains were identified as that of a young man and had been there for at least six months.

The case became a homicide investigation at that time.READ MORE: Sheriff: Bones found now a homicide case

The Ohio Bureau of Investigation was able to get a partial profile from DNA evidence but they were unable to identify the victim. DNA samples were compared to known missing persons and no match was found. In February, the remains were sent to the University of North Texas for further investigation.READ MORE: University of North Texas helps with remains found at GLSM

Sheriff Grey repeated his request for anyone who thinks they no anything, no matter how small, to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

2 NEWS is in Celina for the briefing and will have all the latest information on WDTN.com and 2 NEWS at 5 and 6.

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