Officials working to identify remains found in Murrysville

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Forensic anthropologists on Tuesday began excavating the site where skeletal remains were found Monday in Murrysville.

The dig team, which includes graduate students of Dennis Dirkmaat at Mercyhurst College in Erie County, is removing the remains.

Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the remains had been there, in a wooded area on private property off Hickory Hill Road, for more than a year.

The skeletal remains were found by two men who were clearing brush in the area around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The Westmoreland County coroner's office and Murrysville police are investigating, along with Dr. Dirkmaat's team.

Chief Seefeld said dental impressions will be taken from the corpse after it is transported to a lab.

Investigators had not determined Tuesday whether the skeleton is that of a man reported missing in May 2008 after he walked away from his home on Glendale Lane not far from where the remains were found.

Relatives, volunteers and emergency services personnel had searched unsuccessfully for the man, Wilbert Darr, 74, after he was reported missing two years ago.

Chief Seefeld said the death does not appear to be suspicious.

"I have no reason to suspect criminal activity at this time, but nothing is ruled out," he said.


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