Skull investigation continues

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


The investigation into a human skull found on the East Side continues, but police may have to wait for a break in the weather to locate the rest of the body.

The skull was found about 1 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area in the 2000 Block of Vaughn Avenue in the northeast section of the city. A homeowner called police after his dog discovered the skull in the woods off Vaughn.

Other bones were found near the skull, but it is not known if they are human.

Youngstown police Capt. Mark Milstead said the department is looking to search the area with cadaver dogs in hopes of finding the rest of the remains. That search was scheduled this week but was called off due to the weather.

“Right now all we have is the head, and we really need to try and find the rest of this person,” said Milstead. “We have the Geauga County cadaver dog lined up and the handler will make the decision when the weather is better for the search.”

The city has police dogs, but they’re trained for drug detection. The cadaver dog is trained to detect human decomposition.

The skull still has pieces of flesh attached to it, making a DNA analysis possible. Milstead said the coroner is working on a DNA match and checking dental records for any possible matches.

The police department, while waiting on the coroner’s findings and the search using the cadaver dog, is going forward with the investigation. Milstead said detectives do have suspicions about the identity of the person.

Police believe there is a strong possibility that the skull is that of 26-year-old David Allen Jackson, who was reported missing. A kidnapping report was filed in early December. Milstead said police received tips that Jackson’s body may have been left somewhere on the East Side.

According to the report filed on Jackson, a woman said he borrowed her car to go out for a minute, sent her a text message a short time later saying he would be home shortly but never returned. The woman told police two men were looking for Jackson as revenge for an alleged theft.

Police also believe Jackson may have been with another man during a robbery shortly before Jackson went missing.

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