About 17 people, walking shoulder to shoulder, waded through Town Branch Creek on Saturday in search of clues and more remains of the Lexington man whose badly decomposed body was found last weekend near Donamire Farm.
The crews searched from 8 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Saturday and found a skull, jawbone and two vertebrae — all thought to be remains of Darryl Wayne Dotson, said Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn.
"We found significant tissue and skeletal remains that will be crucial in the scientific identification as well as aid in determining the cause of death of Darryl Dotson," Ginn said.
The coroner said he would take the skeletal remains to forensic anthropologist Emily Craig and the state medical examiner's office, where a cause of death might be determined.
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Such a determination could come "in the next few days," or "it could be we don't have enough to tell," Ginn said.
On May 23, a security worker on Donamire Farm found some of Dotson's remains in the creek on a remote portion of the farm, which borders Old Frankfort Pike.
Dotson, 38, lived near the creek, farther downstream in the McConnells Trace subdivision. He had been missing since March.
Investigators searched Sunday and Monday for more clues. Search efforts were hampered Monday by heavy rains that made the water murky. An autopsy was scheduled last week, but Ginn said it would be helpful to find more tissue. They had better luck Saturday, he said.
"A day and a half without rain lowered the water, and it was a lot more clear than it was on Memorial Day," Ginn said. "All of these things helped."
Ginn said search crews covered a "significant area" Saturday and they feel comfortable that the area is fairly clean.
Unless they get called out again, he said search crews will not go back to the creek again until July or August — when it's really hot and the water level is down significantly. Ginn said the cadaver dogs would then be able to see if there are any other remains. Crews have yet to find Dotson's arms.
"We did not use any cadaver dogs today because we were physically in the water and it was too deep for the dogs," he said.