Bones in woods may be those of man slain 9 years ago

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A crew of anthropologists is working in a remote area of Fayette County today to recover bones, possibly those belonging to a Washington County man believed to have been killed nearly nine years ago.

The crew of Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat of Mercyhurst College and police have been working since early this morning off Brushwood Road in North Union. The remains were discovered not long after police arrested two men in connection with the October 2001 disappearance of Jerry Lee Cushey Jr.

Charges of homicide and conspiracy were filed Tuesday against Michael Ronald Curran, 30, of Elizabeth, and Christopher James Myers, 40, of Connellsville, Fayette County, both of whom remain in jail without bond.

A Washington County grand jury investigating Mr. Cushey's disappearance concluded that the 29-year-old Monongahela man was shot to death by Mr. Curran and his body disposed of by his roommate, Mr. Myers.

Washington County District Attorney Steven Toprani arrived at the scene this afternoon and said the bone fragments are consistent with human remains. He said authorities received a tip that the area is where Mr. Cushey's remains were hidden, but he wouldn't reveal the source.

The recovery "will continue for some time," Mr. Toprani said. "Dr. Dirkmaat and his crew will continue to look for remains. We remain hopeful, but we will leave it to the experts and the scientists."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

First Published August 18, 2010 4:15 PM


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