Skeleton found near base of Mt Warning

By SAMANTHA HEALY

A HUMAN skeleton found by bushwalkers at Mount Warning may be the body of a person miss- ing from the Tweed since late last year. The skeleton has been sent for further testing in the hope of for- mally identifying the remains. Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the per- son's death. Tweed crime manager Inspector Greg Carey said yesterday the skeleton, found by bushwalkers last Friday, was located in dense scrubland adjacent to Mount Warn- ing Road, only 200 metres north of the Mount Warning caravan park. "Police were called and Tweed detectives and Lismore's crime scene attended," Insp Carey said.

"The remains were taken to Tweed Hospital."

Insp Carey said the body was completely decomposed and foren- sic investigators would use dental records or DNA to try and identify the remains.

"There were also several items located with the body that detec- tives will use to try and determine identity," Insp Carey said.

Police would not rule out if the man died in suspicious circum- stances.

Initial reports earlier this week suggested the remains may have been hidden in bushland for up to 12 months. "Decomposition can vary de- pending on environmental elements and wildlife interference," Insp Carey said. The remains are now at a New- castle forensic testing laboratory and local investigations are con- tinuing. Earlier this year a Wooyung resident discovered a human femur bone while walking along the beach, approximately 5.6 kilometres south of Pottsville Beach. The bone was also sent for forensic testing. A Sydney-based forensic scien- tist, who spoke with the Daily News at the time, said scientists had a good success rate for ex- tracting workable DNA samples for testing. "It really depends on the state of the bones as to whether we can get a useable profile," she said. "But we would need comparison samples (DNA) to definitively iden- tify the owner." Since January 2007, at least six people have been reported missing in the Tweed. Anyone with information that could help locate a missing person or with the ongoing investigation should contact Tweed Heads police station on (07)5536 0999.



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