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Police working to identify body found in Chambersburg

Other law-enforcement agencies trying to link specific missing people to remains found in stream

September 29, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Men hoist a body, covered by a body bag lying on a tarp, from the stream off Commerce Street at 8:15 p.m. Franklin County (Pa.) Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said crews were racing to secure the body before a predicted storm hit.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Chambersburg police fielded calls Thursday from the public and other law-enforcement agencies asking whether  specific missing people could be linked to a body found in a stream the day before.

"When something like this is publicized, police departments make contact with the agency of jurisdiction to compare their missing person reports to the ... recovered individual," said Sgt. Dianne Kelso, a detective with the Chambersburg Police Department.

Police are continuing to work with the Franklin County (Pa.) Coroner's Office in the case. The two agencies supervised an 11-hour effort Wednesday to pull the body from a West Commerce Street stream that had unstable banks and piles of debris.

Officials have not released the individual's gender or any identifying information. Kelso said Thursday afternoon they were still trying to identify the body as a main priority in the investigation.

"First and foremost, we have to identify the individual who was found to be deceased," she said.

After that process is completed, it will be much easier to address the calls  about missing people, Kelso said. The Chambersburg Police Department is also looking at its own files for any possible matches, she said.

The detective declined to elaborate on any active missing person reports.

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said Wednesday night that an autopsy scheduled for Friday morning in Allentown, Pa., could provide the strongest clues to the person's identity.

He said some personal effects were recovered, but he did not say what those items were.

"We recovered a couple little things. Whether they have any value or not, we don't know," Conner said.

The decayed but intact body was in the stream at least a few weeks before being discovered between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

Conner did not return a phone message Thursday seeking further details.

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