Skeletal remains found in the chimney of an Abbeville, Louisiana, bank two months ago have been identified as those of a local man who had vanished 27 years ago.
The remains are those of Joseph W. Schexnider, who disapeered at age 22 in January 1984, Abbeville police said. His disappearance was noted after he failed to show up for a court hearing on a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle, according to a report from CNN affiliate WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. When Vermilion Parish sheriff’s deputies showed up at his home to take him in to custody, Schexnider’s mother said he had fled to avoid arrest.
Back in May, when construction workers were doing renovations on the bank, they discovered the remains.Tests by the Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Laboratory established the remains were those of Schexnider, who would be 49 years old now. Authorities say he likely died of dehydration and starvation, reported CNN affiliate KATC-TV in Arcadia-Lafayette.
Abbeville Police Detective Lt. David Hardy told KATC that Schexnider had gloves and a cigarette lighter on him, but no bag or anything to indicate he planned to carry loot from the bank. Also, the chimney wouldn’t have even led Schexnider to the inside of the bank.
“There’s no signs of foul play in this investigation, so as of now it’s going to be a closed case,” KATC quotes Hardy as saying.
“His family said he had a history of leaving … and spending a lot of time away from Abbeville. In fact at one time, he joined the circus and traveled around with them until they left the country,” Hardy told KATC.
“His mother is upset that she lost a son, of course, but she is at ease that she now knows where her son is,” KATC quotes Hardy as saying.
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