‘High probability’ of human remains found

The Mercer County Sheriff's Office gives a press conference about the possible human remains found at Grand Lake St. Marys (WDTN Photo/Mike Burianek).

CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) – There is a ‘high probability’ that human remains have been discovered at Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

An investigation is underway into details of the origin of the remains, identified as bones.

“We would pursue it as a homicide or murder investigation until we can show that it wasn’t,” said Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey in a press conference Wednesday. “It’s kind of odd that somebody would be in that location. It’s kind of odd, that, at least to our knowledge, nobody has been reported missing.”

An unidentified caller reported the remains just before 3 p.m. Sunday, Grey said, near the area of State Route 127 south of Celina on the south-east bridge of Cold Water Creek – near a “pull-off” area at the “mouth of the creek,” Grey said. That area is state property.

Initially, the bones were believed to be of animal remains, however, there were a few that “raised suspicion,” Grey said.

Tuesday, deputies contacted Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification for advice on the investigation. BCI recommended a university expert who also reported there was a “very high probability some of the bones are human,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

Grey said if someone from out of town were to go to Grand Lake Saint Marys to go fishing, for example, and didn’t come home, the sheriff’s office would likely know about that disappearance. If the bones do positively come back as human, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will reach out to other counties to see if there are any reports of missing persons.

Ohio Department of Natural Resource cadaver dogs – who are trained in detecting human remains – will visit the site Wednesday.

“I don’t want to go into the specifics of what we’ve found, right now, other than that the bones are kind of suspicious,” Grey said.

Investigates will continue searching the area on Thursday. Sheriff Grey told 2NEWS, once the scene has been cleared, everything collected will be sent to an out-of-state expert to determine whether the bones are human.

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