2009-01-22 / Local & State

Coroner: Pa. Remains Are Woman Shot, Dismembered

MARCHAND, Pa. (AP) - Investigators say they believe skeletal remains found in southwestern Pennsylvania are those of a black woman who was shot and dismembered three to 10 years ago.

The remains were found by a construction worker Dec. 29 in North Mahoning Township, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Indiana County Coroner Michael Baker says a bullet wound is clearly visible in the back of the woman's skull, and there is evidence her body was dismembered. Investigators say they think she was 30 to 40 years old and the remains were dumped three to 10 years ago.

Baker says authorities hope to use dental records to identify the victim, and more excavation will be done at the site. Along with the skull, a mandible, several long bones, vertebral bones and an artificial dental appliance were found, Baker said.

Baker and state police are being assisted by forensic anthropologist Dennis Dirkmaat of Erie's Mercyhurst College in trying to identify the remains.

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