PARMA – Investigators were seeking new clues after the gruesome discovery of human skeletal remains in a field behind a shopping center Tuesday. Parma Police returned to the scene Wednesday afternoon to collect clothing, a mattress, teddy bear and other items which the bones were scattered among.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the remains were those of a human but had not yet determined other identifying characteristics, including gender and age.
Two teenagers discovered the bones while walking in a field behind the Parma Toys “R” Us around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Parma Police said investigators recovered nearly an entire skeleton, along with a shoe the person was likely wearing.
Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said his office was working to identify who the remains belong to and how they ended up in the field.
Parma Police were looking into possible ties to missing persons cases, including five active cases out of Parma. The Cuyahoga County Missing Persons Database lists 214 people missing countywide.
“Most types of individuals like this we need to have some idea who we're looking for and confirm that,” Gilson said.
Gilson said the skeleton, itself, can provide information on gender, age, height and how the person died.
“There are plenty of instances where bones have told a compelling story about injury and that kind of thing,” he said.
The items found at the scene could also play a key role.
“Sometimes the scene itself can also be a valuable source of information,” Gilson said.
Investigators may eventually also examine dental records, x-rays and DNA to confirm an identity, according to Gilson.