Authorities are trying to identify human skeletal remains found Saturday in rural Casey County.
The remains were found near where a Russell County woman named Whitney Copley, 24, was last seen in September 2015 at the Dogwalk Market on U.S. 127 in Dunnville.
Casey County Coroner Curt Demrow said Monday that state medical examiners have Copley’s dental records and will work this week to see if those confirm that the skeletal remains are hers.
“That is definitely our thinking” that the remains are those of Copley, said Casey County Sheriff Jerry Coffman.
However, authorities said it could be some time before the remains are identified.
Coffman said a woman and her boyfriend had seen bones in the woods behind the market while they were hunting for ginseng some time ago, but did not immediately report it.
The man has had some scrapes with the law and was reluctant to deal with police, Coffman said.
However, the woman had a Russell County deputy contact the sheriff last week, and took him to the site Friday.
The search was unsuccessful, so Coffman went to the jail in Russell County, where the woman’s boyfriend was lodged, and asked him to help.
The man took Coffman to the site Saturday. They were about to leave when they nearly stumbled on the skull, which was mostly covered by leaves, Coffman said.
The spot was in a wooded area about half a mile behind the market. Police and Demrow searched through the day Saturday and again on Sunday for more remains.
The search was slow because of the heavy cover of fallen leaves and because the bones had been scattered.
Demrow said investigators found nearly all the the bones of the body.
They also found a woman’s clothing that was consistent with what family members aid Copley was wearing, Coffman said.
A forensic dentist is scheduled to look at the body and Copley’s dental records on Tuesday.