Coroner: ‘Various parts of skeleton’ found; out-of-state team assisting in investigation

DAYTON — Remains found in a burned garage by a cleaning crew on Fountain Avenue Thursday morning are human and a second location where debris from the garage was dumped also will be searched for any additional remains.

“We have lots of pieces of various parts of the skeleton, but we’re trying to make sure we’re not missing any other parts that might be here,” Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger told News Center 7 Friday morning.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Police: Human remains possibly found in recently burned garage in Dayton

A Dayton police report filed Thursday shows that police recovered “homicide evidence” to include a bloody carpet, latex glove and a casing from a bullet from the Fountain Avenue location.

The remains found are from one body, but its not clear whether they belong to a male or female, Harshbarger said.

“There is a lot of post-mortem damage,” Harshbarger added.

Police initially went to the Fountain garage after receiving a call that a cleaning crew found a bone they believed was human around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

“I was cleaning out this garage and there’s a bone that looks like it belongs to a body. We don’t know if we want to keep messing with it or not,” the caller said. “It’s a big bone.”

Police left the garage around 1:45 p.m. Thursday after Harshbarger said he believed the bones were not human. Harshbarger then consulted with other doctors, which led to police returning to the garage around 3 p.m. Thursday

The garage where the remains were found caught fire on Sept. 17. Officials deemed that fire suspicious, but initially said no injuries were reported.

The second scene is behind an apartment building in the 1000 block of Richmond Avenue, where police tape surrounded a pile of charred debris.

A group of 16 graduate students from Mercyhurst University, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, arrived this morning at the burned garage on Fountain Avenue to assist in the investigation there and will also search the debris on Richmond after searching the first scene.

“They’re very difficult scenes, because of all the material in there, from the human remains to the boards, to everything,” said Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat with Mercyhurst University. “When you have human remains and they are burned to a degree where most of the soft tissue is gone it affects the bones.”

This is a developing story and we’ll update this story with more details as they become available.