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Callaway County sheriff says office close to identifying remains

Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said Tuesday that he hopes his office can release before the end of the week the name of the person whose remains were found over the weekend.

Chism said he spoke Tuesday to people who might be family members of the person whose remains were found in a wooded area off a county road west of Fulton.

He said investigators believe they know who the person is “based on the area of the remains, some past calls for service in that area, some intelligence that this office has as to the citizens in that area and also some of the physical findings.”

Chism said he thinks the person is from Fulton, but it could still be several months before his office gets a guaranteed identity based on DNA and dental records.

The remains were found Sunday by a person walking in a wooded area and the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office revealed the finding publicly Monday. More remains were found Monday.

The office said foul play is not suspected.

It wasn’t clear whether the person whose remains were found had been reported missing, but there are 977 active missing persons cases in Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“Any time I hear of human remains found pretty much anywhere in our state, almost always somebody will come to mind,” said Marianne Asher-Chapman, executive director of Missouri Missing.

Asher-Chapman’s daughter went missing in 2003. Her body was never found. Now anytime Asher-Chapman hears about human remains being found, she is alert.

Asher-Chapman said she learned about missing remains being found in Callaway County while watching the news. Instantly, she was interested.

“It’s scary,” she said. “You don’t want it to be your person, but then after you’ve been living and walking on this path for a few years, then you hope it is.”

She said she hopes finding the remains would bring peace to the family if they belong to a missing person.

“The not knowing is the worst of all of it,” Asher-Chapman said.

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