Police wait on dental records to make ID
February 20, 2013
CRANBERRY TWP — Police are waiting for dental records to confirm the identity of skeletal remains found Saturday near UPMC Passavant Cranberry along Dutilh Road. Authorities already believe they know the name of the man, based on a driver’s license found in a wallet among the remains, said Cranberry Police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino. Investigators suspect the remains are that of a former Beaver County man in his late-40s who was reported missing in July. “We’re hoping to get the dental records from his family today,” Mascellino said Tuesday morning. Police have spoken to two family members of that man. The relatives contacted police after learning about the skeletal remains from media reports. A Zelienople man walking from the hospital to the Cranberry Mall about 2:30 p.m. Saturday came upon the entire skeleton just 50 yards off Dutilh Road. The skull held a complete set of teeth. A forensic dentist will likely be called in to examine the teeth from the remains and compare that to dental records on file from the person they suspect he is, Mascellino said. The remains are currently in Erie and are awaiting a full examination by a forensic team from Mercyhurst College. Dennis Dirkmaat, a forensic anthropologist at Mercyhurst, already determined the remains are that of a man, based on a preliminary exam. He also believed they had been there since last year, possibly since the summer. Mascellino said police do not suspect he died of foul play. Police, meanwhile, declined to release the tentative identification of the man. “We’ll do that once we have the confirmation from dental records,” Mascellino said. He said the man is originally from Beaver County but has apparently not had a fixed address for the past two years. His personal information was entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center’s Missing and Unidentified Person Database, after his family reported him missing. Mascellino noted that other families of missing people — one from as far away as Massachusetts — contacted police over the weekend to inquire about the remains.