Were These People Located, Was Skull Identified?
Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA)
March 3, 2001
FBI: SKULL FOUND IN '99 A BLACK MALE // BUT DEARTH OF EVIDENCE MEANS PERSON'S IDENTITY MIGHT NEVER BE KNOWN
A human skull found by two Manheim Township boys in 1999 doesn't match any recent missing-person cases in Lancaster County, the FBI has determined.
The FBI notified township police last week the skull was from a black male about 40 years old, police said.
Detective Alan Leed said the skull was found by two boys at the edge of the Conestoga River, near Butter Road, in August 1999.
"The water was really low when they found it," Leed said.
Nothing else was found in the area of the river to help investigators determine whose skull it was or how and when the person might have died, police said.
Complicating the case was the fact that when the skull was found, it was encased in a solid material in an old metal bucket. Part of the jawbone and the side of the skull were reportedly the only things visible.
The FBI has not determined what the solid material was.
It was a hot summer day when the boys found the bucket in the Conestoga, which was low because of drought conditions. No other bones were found by investigators at the scene near 2400 Butter Road, Leed said.
After the skull was found, there was hope it would help clear up one of several open homicide investigations.
There now appears to be no connection to at least four of the cases:
`Edna Posey, 37, from Arlington, Va., was visiting friends in Lancaster city in May 1984 on the night she disappeared. The following day in Perry County, fishermen found a headless, dismembered corpse along the Juniata River, north of Harrisburg. Her severed head and limbs were never found.
It took two years for investigators to identify the body and arrest the person they suspected as the killer, Donald Ruby. Ruby, who was caring for Posey's 12-year-old son in his Lancaster home at the time, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. He was granted a new trial and acquitted in 1993.
`Adriana Bejarano was 15 years old and a popular Lancaster Catholic High School freshman when she disappeared without a trace from her Ephrata home in November 1988. Police believe she was murdered. Her family still hopes she's alive. No arrests were made and her body was never found.
`Mary Ann Bagenstose was a blond 25-year-old Willow Street woman when she disappeared in June 1984, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old son. She left a note for her husband saying she had walked to a nearby convenience store because her car wouldn't start. Employees at the store -- who knew her -- said she never arrived.
`James "Squirt" Lewis, 4, disappeared in July 1991 and was never seen again. His mother's boyfriend, Maurice Martin, told police he left the child in a car parked outside a city supermarket. When he returned, Martin told police, the boy was gone.
Martin was charged with the boy's death, convicted and sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for third-degree murder. Police suspected that because of the boy's small size, he may have been placed in a trash bag. His body was never found.
With regard to the skull, Leed said there is very little physical evidence right now and he doesn't know when the FBI might call with more information.
"It's on their priority list, but at the bottom," he said. "I don't know if we'll ever find out who it was."
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