Remains of two people, possibly six, found in yard in western Missouri

Sunday, August 20, 2006

DREXEL, Mo. -- The remains of two people were found in a yard in rural Cass County, the Cass County Sheriff's Department said Saturday.

The bone fragments were found late Friday on top of the ground on property northeast of Drexel in western Missouri, said Cpl. Kevin Tieman. He said two sets of remains were found, but authorities believed more were on the property.

"Right now we can say for sure two sets of remains, but we know that we are looking for as many as six" sets of remains, Tieman said.

One man was arrested Friday and taken into custody on unrelated charges. He would not identify that man or say if he owned the property where the remains were discovered.

"We have a person in custody on other charges that claims to have knowledge of homicides committed at the location we are searching," said Cass County Sheriff Dwight Diehl.

The deaths appeared to be "drug-related" and were not "random acts," Tieman said. "We still haven't identified any of the remains so we can't tell if they were related," Tieman said.

Authorities called in a forensic anthropologist, Dr. Michael Finnegan from Kansas State University, to identify the remains as human. The most recent remains appeared to be several months old, Tieman said.

The Kansas City Crime Lab and the Jackson County Medical Examiner had been called in to assist.

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