Remains not from missing person

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CHAMPAIGN COUNTY — Police have been waiting for four years to find out if bones found were from a missing person, police confirm they’re not.

Four years ago investigators searched the Middle Fork River in Champaign County. They found human remains.

And the mystery of who they belonged to has continued to linger.

“I believe we sent it off as part of the investigation about the time we discovered it.” 

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office has been handling the investigation. Chief Deputy Allen Jones says who they may have come from is getting clearer.

“There are limited numbers of facilities that will be able to do these types of typing and testing.” 

The samples were sent to a lab in Texas. And after all these years Jones says results show they didn’t come from a missing person.

Jones says it might have been a body that was buried and the grave washed away.

“We appreciate being able to sit down and evaluate this and come to a conclusion and in this matter i think we’re going to be done with this investigation.” 

Champaign county coroner Duane Northrup says the age was what made the DNA hard to get.

“Because they were so old or appeared to be so old and the skull had been underwater for some time it was actually found in the river.”

Although investigators still don’t know who they belonged to. Northrup says there’s not much else his office can do.

“If we can determine there’s no forensic the coroner is then supposed to turn over the remains to the state historical preservation society.” 

Jones says these bones are not related to a criminal matter. And reports show they may have come from someone with native american descent. Once the bones return back to the coroner they will go to the state historical preservation society.

Police had searched around the same area for a missing 20-year old Paxton woman.

We’re talking about the case of Jamie Harper. She’s been missing since 2007. The case of Heather Mullins is still open as well.

Mullins was last seen in Rantoul back in 1997.

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