Sunday, October 3, 2010


Quite an interesting find on the Oxford grounds. It's fortunate when such archaeological discoveries can be corroborated by written historical accounts.

A Viking Mystery


Friday, September 17, 2010


From Lerner [1]:

Also known as "grave wax," adipocere (from the Latin, adipo for fat and cera for wax) is a grayish-white postmortem (after death) matter caused by fat decomposition, which results from hydrolysis and hydrogenation of the lipids (fatty cells) that compose subcutaneous (under the skin) fat tissues.
Although decomposition of fatty tissues starts almost immediately after death, adipocere formation time may vary from two weeks to one or two months, on average, due to several factors, such as temperature, embalming and burial conditions, and materials surrounding the corpse. For instance, the subcutaneous adipose (fatty) tissue of corpses immersed in cold water or kept in plastic bags may undergo a uniform adipocere formation with the superficial layers of skin slipping off.
Several studies have been conducted in the last ten years to understand and determine the rate of adipocere formation under different conditions. Other studies also investigated the influence of some bacteria and chemicals, present in grave soils, in adipocere decomposition. Although this issue remains a challenging one, the purpose of such studies is to establish standard parameters for possible application in forensic analysis, such as the estimation of time elapsed since death when insect activity is not present. In forensics, adipocere is also important because preserved body remains may offer other clues associated either with the circumstances surrounding or the cause of death. The ability of adipocere to preserve a body has been well illustrated in exhumed corpses, even after a century.
Adipose cells are rich in glycerol molecules and are formed by triglycerols (or triglycerides). Bacterial activity releases enzymes that break these triglycerides into a mixture of saturated and unsaturated free fatty acids, a process known as hydrolysis. In the presence of enough water and enzymes, triglycerol hydrolysis will proceed until all molecules are reduced to free fatty acids. Unsaturated free fatty acids, such as palmitoleic and linoleic acids, react with hydrogen to form hydroxystearic, hydroxypalmitic acids and other stearic compounds, a process known as saponification, or turning into soap.
This final product of fat decomposition, or adipocere, can be stable for long periods of time due to its considerable resistance to bacterial action. This resistance allows for slower decomposition of those areas of a corpse where adipose tissues are present, such as cheeks, thighs, and buttocks. When a corpse is exposed to insects, however, adipocere probably will not be formed, as body decomposition will be much faster because of the insects' action. Animal scavenging of a dead body will also prevent adipocere formation.

Also worth a read is Ruttan and Marshall's 1917 piece,

The Composition of Adipocere.


1. "Adipocere." World of Forensic Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. Gale Cengage, 2006. 2006. 16 Sep, 2010


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Top 10 Bizarre Medical Anomalies

No doubt some readers will be familiar with certain conditions on this list, while a couple might present an intriguing surprise. My own anthropology research has/is focused on osteology, so I find Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva particularly fascinating. This is essentially a condition where the body never shuts down the ossification process, eventually resulting in complete skeletonization of "soft" bodily tissues. I can only imagine how painful and terrifying it must be to live with such a condition.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Bone Specialist On Call
A Smithsonian anthropologist applies his expertise to cases of missing children and disaster victims 
By Michael Kernan
Smithsonian magazine, April 2000
Read more:

The skeleton of a child, 10 to 12 years old, had been found in the desert near Las Vegas, Nevada, and forensic experts had composed a picture of a likely face that matched the skull. The local medical examiners thought the victim was a girl, going partly by the denim shorts and other material found with the body, so the computer reconstruction had long hair and girlish features.
The picture was sent out to police all over the country. Nobody responded.
Then Las Vegas authorities sent the skull to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Arlington, Virginia. Steve Loftin, one of the center's age-progression specialists, called in David Hunt from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Hunt, an expert in skeletal biology who has considerable experience in forensic anthropology, spent several hours examining the skull—taking measurements, studying the teeth, the nasal opening, the shape of the eye socket, assessing the overall morphology.
"I began looking at the skull," Hunt said, "and in a way it was lucky I didn't have the clothing and other external evidence that the police had, so I wasn't biased. Something about the shape of the head and the dental development suggested it was a boy's."
That was in September 1998. Last June the case was aired on TV's America's Most Wanted. The girlish version, shown first, caught the attention of a man whose 10-year-old son had been missing three years, but he dismissed it because the child was assumed to be a female. Then the show put up an alternative, the center's computer reconstruction of a boy, based on Hunt's analysis.
"The father's heart sank to the floor," Loftin told me. It was the lost boy come to life, overbite and all. Dental records confirmed the match, and another sad and baffling case was solved.
What amazes me is the number of unidentified skeletons found every year in fields and forests around the country. This was the seventh case of the year for Loftin's department, but police attending seminars at the center say that many more human remains are waiting in station storage rooms all over America for someone to put a name to them.
"Hunt is a gold mine resource to the center," Loftin said. "We can't thank him enough."
Sensing that the Las Vegas skull was that of a boy was no mere hunch for Hunt. He has worked with thousands of human remains over the past 20 years—modern, historic, pre-Colombian, prehistoric — and this skull struck him, from certain features, as more likely male.
"In forensic skeletal analysis we use methodologies that are commonly used in archaeological investigations," he explained. A vast forensic database of skeletal measurements at the University of Tennessee aids in the analysis of the gender and ethnicity of a subject.
"Anthropologists avoid the term 'race,' but law enforcement agencies still refer to four main population groups: white, black, Asian and Hispanic."
Some differences among the groups show up in bone lengths, but most appear in the cranial structure. "A long-headed Nordic skull, for instance, would look quite different from a Hispanic one," Hunt said. "But now there is a lot more genetic interaction, an effect of our transient and mobile society, so you get a blending of these features."
In addition to overall size and shape, there are other variances in skulls. From the nasal aperture you can tell about how wide the nose was, and if the nasal bridge (the spot between the eyes where the nose begins) is preserved, it can suggest a large or small nose. The nasal spine, a bony projection at the base of the aperture, might indicate whether a nose hooked down or turned up.
"Many of these features are literally just skin deep," Hunt said. "The next stage is one of my specialties, craniometric analysis, which is the study of skull measurements. You put about 80 measurements into a computer to get an analytical model that best fits one of the main population groups."
Subtle deformations of bone can even hint at an adult's occupation, as constant use of a certain muscle will literally pull the bone it is attached to, misshaping it slightly and creating, for example, a heel spur.
But how do you go about identifying a child, say one who was abducted as an infant and is found at age 7?
"First of all, you need to understand what happens when the baby fat goes away," Hunt said. "Children grow at different rates, with spurts at various times. At 4 to 6 years they have big heads because the brain case is larger than the face. Then around the third grade, the face starts growing and pretty soon a kid has a bigger face."
Teeth are also a major clue to age, he said. "In the first grade kids lose their front baby teeth, and their permanent ones begin coming in. The teeth of Hispanics tend to grow in four to six months sooner than those of whites.
"Then the mandible (lower jaw) grows and the maxillary (upper jaw) grows," Hunt continued. "By the fifth or sixth grade, the molars are coming in. When you look at photographs of kids that age, many seem to have pointy chins. It's because their lower faces are growing."
Other very noticeable changes occur again between 12 and 14, when the brain case expands and the body length increases, while the facial growth slows down. These changes are heavily influenced by sex hormones. "Before the sex hormones kick in," Hunt said, "it's very difficult to identify a child's sex from the skeleton."
One problem facing experts like Hunt is the shortage of identified skeletons of children to study. "Understandably, few families choose to donate their children's remains for scientific research," Hunt said.
A sad business. But the center also finds live children among the almost 6,000 active cases in its files. Fortunately, the great majority of them are rescued alive. About a million children under 18 disappear every year in America, most of them for only a short time: runaways, kids abducted by parents, kids abducted by strangers, and some who are just lost.
Age-progression specialists like Steve Loftin can take a snapshot of a toddler and, on a computer screen, make the child look older ( Smithsonian, October 1995). The expert begins by stretching the child's image on the computer. To mature the face, he merges it with childhood photographs of the parents at the current age of the missing child, borrowing certain features, bringing out the cheekbones, thinning down baby fat and lengthening the jaw. The results can be startlingly accurate and have proved invaluable in rescuing missing children.
Long ago David Hunt knew he was going to be an anthropologist. "I remember reading those articles in National Geographic as a kid in the '60s about Louis and Mary Leakey, the excavations in Africa and Europe — they all fascinated me."
At the University of Illinois he soon found his niche in the study of bones, specifically human osteology and skeletal biology. After receiving his master's degree and doctorate in physical anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Hunt joined the Museum of Natural History staff in 1990.
"It was the ability to derive a synopsis of the life of prehistoric humans from their remains that made me decide to pursue this career," he said. "It's all a big jigsaw puzzle."
It really is. People get buried six feet deep, and the weight of the dirt distorts the skeleton, crushing the skull so that it has to be reconstructed before study can get under way. Even a casket sooner or later will let in water and collapse.
Working on historical cases is interesting, but applied forensics, in which researchers try to match skulls with photographs of actual people, is often more rewarding.
Hunt and his Smithsonian colleagues are on call in the wake of plane crashes and other disasters. They have helped identify bodies in the Oklahoma City bombing, the Waco fire and the mass graves of Bosnia and Croatia.
After the Mississippi and Missouri rivers flooded in 1993, and water destroyed cemeteries, washing caskets from the earth and hopelessly jumbling them, Hunt was called in. Working with FBI fingerprint specialists and pathologists and dentists, he helped identify bodies for reinterment.
"You don't want to say the work is satisfying, that sounds kind of weird, but I feel I need to return something to the community with my specialized training. Hopefully, my work will help connect people with missing loved ones."

Monday, September 13, 2010


Firstly, I must apologize for the extremely sparse posting. Academic study, work and other pursuits have kept me very busy, but I hope to be bulking up this blog's content soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out Eskeletons. This amazing site has a wonderful collection of interactive images relating to primate osteology with a very nice comparative anatomy engine. If you enjoy studying skeletal structures half as much as I do, you will find this site both informative and fun. A worthy bookmark, for sure.

Eskeletons Website


Friday, June 25, 2010


I recently stumbled upon this extremely unique and interesting case in the Journal of Forensic Science. Immediately upon reading it, a number of thoughts played out in my mind. First was, this guy had some balls. Perhaps it can be credited solely to the drive of sexual compulsion, but to follow-through on such an elaborate and risky bondage scenario--alone--takes a pair (irrespective of the inherent foolishness). What did he plan to do if something went wrong? Strapped to a board, submerged beneath the waves, with no failsafe... shudder. Even Houdini had assistants!

ABSTRACT: The term Aqua-eroticum was first introduced in 1984 by Sivaloganathan to describe the unusual autoerotic death of a man using submersion as an asphyxia method. This was the first case of that kind, and since then, no other case of autoerotic submersion has been reported, nor other autoerotic fatality in open water. Here we report the case of a 25-year-old man, nude under a home-made plastic body suit, overdressed for the season with winter clothes and restrained by complex bondage. He was submersed, tied underwater to a boat and was using a home-made diving apparatus for air supply. Death was ruled as accidental autoerotic asphyxia from rebreathing, caused by the faulty air-supply device. [1]


1. Aqua-Eroticum: An Unusual Autoerotic Fatality in a Lake Involving a Home-Made Diving Apparatus. J Forensic Sci, January 2006, Vol. 51, No. 1

Monday, June 21, 2010


It speaks to the exceptionality and mythos of this case that there are still new journal articles analyzing it, over 120 years later.

The Jack the Ripper Murders: A Modus Operandi and Signature Analysis of the 1888–1891 Whitechapel Murders (Full .PDF journal article)

ABSTRACT: A number of females, commonly recognized as 11 victims, were murdered in separate events in Whitechapel, London between 1888 and 1891. An evaluation of the murders revealed that six of those murders were linked by a number of distinct, personal signature characteristics, including picquerism, overkill, incapacitation, domination and control, open and displayed, unusual body position, sexual degradation, mutilation, organ harvesting, specific areas of attack, preplanning and organization, and a combination of signature features. The signature characteristics observed in these infamous Jack the Ripper murders were compared to a 1981–1995 cohort of 3359 homicide cases from Washington State’s HITS database. The analysis revealed that the signature displayed in six of the Whitechapel murders was extremely rare. There were only six records of female victims, one a prostitute, with probed, explored, or mutilated body cavities. There were only two cases, both females who were not prostitutes, where the body was left in an unusual position and body cavities were explored, probed, or mutilated. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Monday, May 10, 2010


A fascinating piece written by my forensic anthropology professor:




It is finals week at school, so the posting will continue to be sparse for a few days, but will resume a healthy pace shortly thereafter. Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, April 26, 2010

CSI: Kentucky

A fun article about forensic anthropologist Emily Craig:


Friday, April 23, 2010


This guy went to a lot of trouble to off himself. No doubt there are dozens of more-convenient ways to commit suicide. Of course, had this been merely your average handgun-to-the-head scenario, it probably wouldn't warrant much attention here.

An Unusual Zip Gun Suicide—Medicolegal and Ballistic Examination (Full .PDF Journal article)

ABSTRACT: Home-made guns are imitations of typical firearms and usually have handgun characteristics. This article presents an unusual case of a suicide carried out by means of a fatal gunshot wound to the head using a home-made zip gun. A 49-year-old male, with a history of paranoid psychosis was found dead in the dwelling place of a family house. The investigation at the crime scene did not lead to suspicion of a gunshot wound because of the unusual nature of the firearm used. A medical examiner diagnosed an opened head injury as the primary cause of the victim’s death. The autopsy findings provided immediate grounds for further inspection of the crime scene. Subsequently, a simple zip gun, which had been overlooked during the scene investigation, was discovered. An undeformed projectile recovered from the victim’s head was consistent with the use of the home-made firearm. Following the completion of the investigations and autopsy, the death was classified as a suicide.


Thursday, April 22, 2010


I must admit to harboring a personal fear of this particular type of accident. I grew up on a farm and also spent some years in a factory, working daily around heavy industrial machines. There were always horror stories circulating, most involved an article of clothing becoming stuck in a mechanized part and dragging a person towards inevitable mutilation or death. Accidents involving mechanical equipment happen fast, and machines--being, well, machines--are utterly unforgiving.

Accidental Ligature Strangulation by an Ironing
Machine: An Unusual Case
(Full PDF Journal article)
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a case of a 53-year-old woman who had her headscarf catch on the cylinder ironing machine in the laundry of the hospital where she worked. The hospital workers found the woman dead with her head stuck to the ironing machine. After the death scene investigation and autopsy were completed, it was determined that the death occurred as a result of accidental ligature strangulation. Accidental ligature strangulation in which an article of clothing is caught in such an electrical machine and strangles the wearer is very rare. This case highlights the fact that these kinds of machines can be hazardous to work around and that increased safety measures should be taken to insure worker safety; additionally, the people who use these machines should be educated on the potential hazards.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Here are a few articles commenting on fingerprint analysis, its usefulness and reliability, as well as our common perceptions regarding the practice:

Fact Is, Science Has Never Put Its Finger On Prints

The Myth of Fingerprints

ACE-V - Is It Scientifically Reliable and Accurate?


Sunday, April 18, 2010


From Gould and Pyle's Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine (1901):



An interesting article from Popular Science(Sept. 1997) on Bill Bass and The Body Farm research facility in Tennessee:




I've been reading some fascinating and extremely well-written journal articles regarding the forensic evidence of violent crime left on clothing. The following is excerpted from Daroux, et al. [1]

Blunt force assault is a growing issue worldwide. In New Zealand, recorded cases of grievous blunt force assault increased steadily from 1011 in 1999 to 2139 in 2008 [2]. In many cases of blunt force assault victims are struck on parts of their body covered by clothing, yet the use of damage to apparel as forensic evidence largely appears to have been overlooked. The current research investigated blunt force impact
(BFI) damage in common apparel fabrics and the effects prior and post-laundering had on this damage. Two 100% cotton fabrics (single jersey knit, bull drill) were impacted as single and double layers using an impactor representative of a hammer face, the force transmitted through specimens was measured and impulse calculated. Impacting and laundering were completed cumulatively to establish the effects of impact damage on new, dimensionally stable (laundered 6 times) and aged fabrics (laundered up to 30 times), and the effects of laundering on impacted specimens. BFI left recognisable patterns of damage in specimens, although the extent of this damage varied. Laundering after the impact event altered the visible and microscopic damage. Laundering previously impacted fabrics produced holes in some specimens and some fibres exhibited failure characteristic of blunt force impact.

Fig. 5. Typical examples of fibre failure: (a) impacted, not laundered; b–d impacted then laundered fibres (b = example of fibre retaining flattened appearance, little fibrillar separation after laundering, c and d = fibres regained more three-dimensional appearance; c = short, uneven break, perpendicular to fibre axis, d = examples of messy, bulbous and collapsed fibre ends after laundering).

5. Conclusions
BFI can cause recognisable damage in apparel fabrics. Laundering apparel fabrics prior to impacting did not significantly alter the visible damage. Laundering apparel fabrics after impacting did not generally destroy evidence of BFI damage, but rather altered the damage. BFI damage to fabrics varied considerably due to other variables investigated, i.e. fabric structure, number of layers. Further research is required to develop comprehensive knowledge regarding BFI damage in apparel fabrics. Of particular importance would be consideration of incorporating an underlying human
tissue simulant, as fabric damage due to BFI is likely to be significantly affected by the underlying substrate. Different methods can be used to compare BFI damage. The most effective method investigated in this work, but one which needs to be
interpreted with care was SEM.


1. Daroux, F.Y., Carr, D.J., Kieser, J., Niven, B.E., Taylor, M.C. (2010). Effect of laundering on blunt force impact damage in fabrics. Forensic Science International Vol. 197 (21-29).

2. Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand recorded crime tables, available online at (14.02.08). [This is a direct reference from the journal article.]


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The identity is revealed, but the mystery remains.

Coroner identifies mystery foot as belonging to Darla Kustra
By Patrick O'Donnell, The Plain Dealer
April 14, 2010, 2:59PM

ELYRIA, Ohio -- The severed foot found on an abandoned railroad trestle belonged to Darla Kustra, 56, a divorced mother of four who lived less than two miles away.
But investigators cannot say definitively what happened to Kustra, only offering several theories about what may have occurred.
The leading theory is that she was walking to work at a local plastics company along Ohio Route 57 the morning of March 26 and was struck by a southbound vehicle. But sheriff's investigators and the Lorain County Coroner acknowledge that it is very unusual for a pedestrian to be hit by a car and to not find a body, significant blood or clothing.
The trestle where the foot was found was 16 feet above the roadway and would have needed to be thrown high in the air for it to end up there.
"It was very bizarre that the foot was located there but there was no other evidence," Lorain County Sheriff's Captain John Reiber said.
Investigators did find some traces of blood on the northern face of the trestle structure but found no other body parts or even the shoe to the foot, which was found wearing a sock.
Kustra's coworkers reported her missing and investigators then contacted her four daughters to obtain a DNA sample from one to make the identification. Though the family can claim the foot, the Lorain County Coroner has not issued a death certificate because there is no body.
Coroner Paul Matus said he assumes that Kustra died because people cannot suffer those kinds of injuries and survive without immediate medical treatment.
Investigators have speculated that the body may have become lodged beneath a truck or other vehicle that struck her and either remains there or fell off away from the site. They have issued a national police alert for any body that turns up.
The foot was found by four youths on March 29.
Kustra was last seen in security footage leaving her apartment building in Lorain at 4 a.m. Friday, March 26.



A recent study by Albert, Mulhern, Torpey, and Boone [1] reinforces the usefulness of vertebral epiphyses in drawing accurate age estimation from skeletal remains.

Union of the vertebral centra or “ring” epiphyses occurs during adolescence and early adulthood, providing valuable age at death information. We present a system for estimating age based on the timing and pattern of vertebral ring union. Data from 57 known individuals aged 14–27 years were used to establish age ranges for various patterns of union in females and males. Female age ranges were more well defined with less overlap in patterns of union than male age ranges. The age ranges are accompanied by descriptions of the stages of union observed that aid in applying this method. A test of interobserver error in scoring stages of union demonstrated strong consistency among three observers ( r = 0.91–0.97). Estimating age by observing all stages documented resulted in 78%, 88%, and 100% accuracies using vertebral data alone. We encourage the continued use of this method, in conjunction with other age indicators.

For the layperson, an epiphysis is a sort of "cap" that fuses to the end of a long bone (diaphysis) in adulthood. Prior to its fusion with the bone, the epiphysis is separated by a layer of articular (hyaline) cartilage. Age can be estimated from skeletal remains based on the stage of epiphyseal growth.
A fibula and unfused epiphysis. [3]

An epiphysis that has not yet fused with the bone will have a craggy surface texture, like this: (note that the picture is not of a human vertebra)

Developing epiphyses in human vertebrae look like this:

"Progressing union , T9 superior and inferior" [2].

Post-ossification, the epiphysis resembles the rest of the bone, with a generally uniform, smooth texture.

Many ossification centers (the locations where bones fuse) can be useful in determining age, including areas of the wrist, the clavicle bones, the os pubis, and various parts of the cranium, just to mention a few. The high degree of accurate age estimation from the thoracic and lumbar ephyseal unions as noted by Albert, et al., makes their inclusion in the investigator's toolbox invaluable.


1. Albert, M., Mulhern, D., Torpey, M., & Boone, E. (2010). Age Estimation Using Thoracic and First Two Lumbar Vertebral Ring Epiphyseal Union. Journal of Forensic Sciences Vol. 55, No. 2.

2. Id., Figure 4.

3. Figure 1, The Internet Journal of Biological Anthropology (2009) Vol.3, No. 2. [Labeling added].


Monday, April 12, 2010


A recent (2009) report by the National Academy of Sciences (PDF):

If nothing else, I'd recommend chapters three through six as essential reading. The Federal Rules of Evidence and related case law covered in Chapter Three are relevant to every United States citizen. The purpose, method, and scope of science is misunderstood by far too many, and Chapter Four provides a great resource towards which the uninformed might be directed (this also ties in with law, insofar as jury instruction and the judge as "gatekeeper" are concerned). Chapter Five is a useful primer/history of forensic science, but is likely redundant for anyone who has taken an introductory forensic anthropology class. Chapter Six is essentially a plea for greater research, more rigorous standards/practices, and greater autonomy for science laboratories.



Teeth remain one of the best indicators of age in pre-adults.

(You can click on each picture for the full-size image.)



One of the most interesting and recent developments in individualization techniques is detailed in the Homeland Security Bulletin below:

New Biometric Identifier

Each individual has "personal" bacteria communities living on the fingers and palms of individual computer users; members of these communities are deposited on keyboards, mice and other things we touch; the link between the bacterial communities and the bacterial DNA signatures of individuals may soon become a tool in forensic identification.

I'll be posting more on this subject as the methodology and science develop.



Well, it's Monday. Perhaps today we will discover who the victim was.

Identity of woman whose severed foot was found may be known
By Pat Galbincea, The Plain Dealer
April 09, 2010, 9:53PM
ELRYIA TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Lorain County Coroner Paul Matus said Friday the identity of a woman whose severed foot was found March 29 by two teenagers on an abandoned bridge over Ohio 57 might be revealed as soon as Monday.
Matus said an individual provided investigators with information about a missing relative whose description matched that of a woman reported "not seen or heard from" since March 26.
The coroner said the foot belonged to a white woman between ages 47 and 60, weighing between 190 and 215 pounds, and with a height between 5-5 and 5-7. He said a DNA sample from that person was taken, and will be compared with DNA taken from the foot.
The woman's foot was severed "as would be seen" in an auto accident, Matus said. He also added the woman would not likely be alive because of the severity of the injury.
The case has been under investigation by the Lorain County Sheriff's Office.



This is a local story that I'll be avidly keeping tabs on. The kids who discovered the body have some relation to a colleague of mine, and he has pictures of the foot on his cell phone. It was severed about one-third to halfway up the tibia (from the ankle) and the flesh was extremely swollen, bloody, and splayed. The development of this case should be interesting, if it doesn't dead-end. There is the question of victim identification, the location of the remainder of the body, and of course the suspect.

Severed foot found in Lorain County

Sheriff's deputies are investigating.
By Colleen O'Neill, Newsradio WTAM 1100
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
(Sheffield Township)- Lorain County sheriff’s deputies are investigating a grisly find...

Cpt. John Reiber says two kids walking along railroad tracks near Route 57 and 254 Monday night found what appeared to be a human foot. That turned out to be the case. Sheriff’s deputies searched the area but did not find the rest of the body.

Deputies are trying to find out where it came from...Reiber says there isn't anyone missing from the area that fits the description so it may not have come from Lorain County.

The Lorain County Coroner has taken custody of the limb. Dr. Paul Matus says this is a female's foot and they believe she was 5'5’’ to 5'7’’ tall, 210 to 215 lbs. and in her 50's. The foot is in tact with a portion of the right lower leg attached. Matus adds it's fresh only 24 to 48 hours old.

A bulletin has been sent to police departments and coroners all the way to east of the Mississippi. If need be, a DNA test will be done on the foot.