Police hope to identify human remains using medical records, DNA testing

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

A coroner will have to rely on dental and medical records as well as DNA testing to identify a body discovered near the Dundas Peak in Greensville on Monday.

Police said a hiker found the remains at about noon on Nov. 16, not far from where 25-year-old David Skarratt of Greensville was reported missing in mid-September.

Police were called to the scene at 12:38 p. m. and enlisted the help of the fire department’s high-angle rope rescue crews to lower forensic officers to the body’s location partway down the rock face.

According to fire information officer John Verbeek, firefighters from the Greensville and Rockton stations responded to the area to assist personnel from the high-angle rope rescue team comprised of crews from the Garth and Mohawk and Wentworth and Barton stations.

The position of the remains was such that crews were forced to remove the body by lowering it to the bottom of the escarpment rather than raise it to the top of the peak.

It was after 5 p. m. when rescue workers finally cleared the scene.

Dundas resident Marty Zuliniak told a Hamilton Community News reporter he was the person who discovered the body. Zuliniak said he was collecting empty bottles thrown over the peak when he noticed a peculiar smell.

He said the person’s face was unrecognizable due to decomposition and there was a sleeping bag close to the body.

Hamilton Police Service’s Mountain CID Detective Sergeant Tom Andrew said officers were aware of the outstanding missing person case in the area and police have been in contact with the Skarratt family.

“This is a coroner’s case,” said Andrew.

“The coroner will determine the cause of death and our role is to assist the coroner to make that determination.”

On Monday, police were treating the case as “suspicious” and every effort was made to collect and preserve any evidence.

On Wednesday, Andrew said: “At this point, we are still investigating,” but noted that no foul play was suspected.

“We are trying to determine the cause of death. We are working with dental and medical records to confirm (the identity),” said the detective sergeant. Adding to the challenges in the investigation is the condition of the body, which officers described as “decomposed.”

The remains were transported to the morgue for a postmortem, which Andrew confirmed has already been performed.

He was unable to provide a timeline for a conclusive identification, but indicated it could be a lengthy process.

WITH FILES FROM CRAIG CAMPBELL

Police hope to identify human remains using medical records, DNA testing

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

A coroner will have to rely on dental and medical records as well as DNA testing to identify a body discovered near the Dundas Peak in Greensville on Monday.

Police said a hiker found the remains at about noon on Nov. 16, not far from where 25-year-old David Skarratt of Greensville was reported missing in mid-September.

Police were called to the scene at 12:38 p. m. and enlisted the help of the fire department’s high-angle rope rescue crews to lower forensic officers to the body’s location partway down the rock face.

According to fire information officer John Verbeek, firefighters from the Greensville and Rockton stations responded to the area to assist personnel from the high-angle rope rescue team comprised of crews from the Garth and Mohawk and Wentworth and Barton stations.

The position of the remains was such that crews were forced to remove the body by lowering it to the bottom of the escarpment rather than raise it to the top of the peak.

It was after 5 p. m. when rescue workers finally cleared the scene.

Dundas resident Marty Zuliniak told a Hamilton Community News reporter he was the person who discovered the body. Zuliniak said he was collecting empty bottles thrown over the peak when he noticed a peculiar smell.

He said the person’s face was unrecognizable due to decomposition and there was a sleeping bag close to the body.

Hamilton Police Service’s Mountain CID Detective Sergeant Tom Andrew said officers were aware of the outstanding missing person case in the area and police have been in contact with the Skarratt family.

“This is a coroner’s case,” said Andrew.

“The coroner will determine the cause of death and our role is to assist the coroner to make that determination.”

On Monday, police were treating the case as “suspicious” and every effort was made to collect and preserve any evidence.

On Wednesday, Andrew said: “At this point, we are still investigating,” but noted that no foul play was suspected.

“We are trying to determine the cause of death. We are working with dental and medical records to confirm (the identity),” said the detective sergeant. Adding to the challenges in the investigation is the condition of the body, which officers described as “decomposed.”

The remains were transported to the morgue for a postmortem, which Andrew confirmed has already been performed.

He was unable to provide a timeline for a conclusive identification, but indicated it could be a lengthy process.

WITH FILES FROM CRAIG CAMPBELL

Police hope to identify human remains using medical records, DNA testing

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

A coroner will have to rely on dental and medical records as well as DNA testing to identify a body discovered near the Dundas Peak in Greensville on Monday.

Police said a hiker found the remains at about noon on Nov. 16, not far from where 25-year-old David Skarratt of Greensville was reported missing in mid-September.

Police were called to the scene at 12:38 p. m. and enlisted the help of the fire department’s high-angle rope rescue crews to lower forensic officers to the body’s location partway down the rock face.

According to fire information officer John Verbeek, firefighters from the Greensville and Rockton stations responded to the area to assist personnel from the high-angle rope rescue team comprised of crews from the Garth and Mohawk and Wentworth and Barton stations.

The position of the remains was such that crews were forced to remove the body by lowering it to the bottom of the escarpment rather than raise it to the top of the peak.

It was after 5 p. m. when rescue workers finally cleared the scene.

Dundas resident Marty Zuliniak told a Hamilton Community News reporter he was the person who discovered the body. Zuliniak said he was collecting empty bottles thrown over the peak when he noticed a peculiar smell.

He said the person’s face was unrecognizable due to decomposition and there was a sleeping bag close to the body.

Hamilton Police Service’s Mountain CID Detective Sergeant Tom Andrew said officers were aware of the outstanding missing person case in the area and police have been in contact with the Skarratt family.

“This is a coroner’s case,” said Andrew.

“The coroner will determine the cause of death and our role is to assist the coroner to make that determination.”

On Monday, police were treating the case as “suspicious” and every effort was made to collect and preserve any evidence.

On Wednesday, Andrew said: “At this point, we are still investigating,” but noted that no foul play was suspected.

“We are trying to determine the cause of death. We are working with dental and medical records to confirm (the identity),” said the detective sergeant. Adding to the challenges in the investigation is the condition of the body, which officers described as “decomposed.”

The remains were transported to the morgue for a postmortem, which Andrew confirmed has already been performed.

He was unable to provide a timeline for a conclusive identification, but indicated it could be a lengthy process.

WITH FILES FROM CRAIG CAMPBELL