LAURINBURG — Officials with the State Bureau of Investigation on Thursday collected the skeletal remains of an unidentified person found Wednesday near a wooded area of the 300 block of Kinlaw Drive.
According to Laurinburg Police Chief Darwin Williams, the remains have been there for a year or more — long enough to make identification impossible without further processing by the SBI. He said the remains are that of an adult, but it can not be determined if they are that of a male or a female.
Williams said he was unable to estimate how long it would take for the SBI to collect information that may lead to identification or a possible cause of death. City detectives are working to help collect evidence in the surrounding area.
“It’s going to be time-consuming, but we’re going to be out here until we’re sure we’ve collected all the evidence,” he said.
Police had blocked off with crime-scene tape from the edge of a wooded area that spans the corner of Baker Street and Kinlaw Drive, to the back of a duplex owned by the Laurinburg Housing Authority on the corner of Baker and Knox streets and several yards of an open field behind the property.
Williams said a man who was walking near the woods called the department at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, saying he had seen parts of what appeared to be a skeleton among some overgrowth near the wood line. Detectives came to check out the scene, Williams said, and the SBI was called in.
The property remained under police surveillance until the SBI arrived at 8 a.m., he said.
“Right now we’re doing a grid of the area to make sure we’ve collected all the evidence,” Williams said.
Nearby residents stood on street corners, speculating about what was going on behind the home of 20-year-old neighbor Marquese Myers.
“It’s definitely a surprise,” he said. “I usually walk through that field every day to see my friend, and I would have never come across it.”
Myers said the area behind the property, beneath a set of power lines and adjacent to where the body was found, had been cleared recently. Prior to that, he said, the area had been covered by tall foliage.
Williams said the remains had been covered with leaves and debris, but didn’t appear to have been buried.
“The remains have been back there for some years — how many we don’t know. It’s a sad situation and we’re going to do our best to find out who it is and bring some closure to the family,” he said.