Dogs find more bones in East Side neighborhood

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


Police officials are considering GPS technology in the search for human remains in an East Side neighborhood where a skull and jawbone have been found.

In a situation similar to a scene from last month, when a dog found a human skull and brought the partial skeleton to his owner’s Vaughn Avenue home, another dog on the same street found a jawbone Tuesday evening.

The homeowner in the 2000 block of Vaughn said the jawbone still was partially covered with flesh, but the dog removed most of the flesh before its owner and officials could get the bone away from the animal.

Lt. Douglas Bobovnyik said police believe the jawbone and upper skull found last month are part of the same skeleton, but they have not been able to confirm theory. The complete skeleton has not been found.

Dogs in that Vaughn Avenue neighborhood seem to be the only creatures capable of locating the deceased person, police said, so investigators are considering using the dogs along with GPS technology to find the missing person.

“We may electronically monitor the dogs with GPS to track their whereabouts over a period of days,” Bobovnyik said. “This may tell us where the skeleton is.”

The department has tried to use cadaver dogs trained in searching for decomposing human flesh, but that effort yielded little success. The dogs will be used again Saturday when the weather is expected to be slightly warmer and more suitable for a proper search.

In the meantime, investigators still are waiting on the identification from the coroner’s office on the partial skull found last week, Bobovnyik said.

“Once we find the body, we can really start our investigation into how this person died,” he added.

Dr. Joseph S. Ohr, forensic pathologist and Mahoning County deputy coroner, said he has determined that the skull belongs to a male between 25 and 50 years old of mixed African and European ancestry. He said those findings will be compared with lists of missing persons so investigators can speak to families of potential victims and make a match, possibly from dental records.

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