Search party uncovers more human remains

Published: Dec. 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 1, 2014 at 8:44 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Search parties looking for clues on the disappearances of two young Horry County women have located human bones for a second time.

Skeletal remains found on Tidewater Road on Saturday, Dec. 28 belong to a roughly 20-year-old man, according to a preliminary report from an anthropologist in Charleston.

Coroner Edge confirmed that the remains are human, and the larger bones were packed up and sent off to a lab in Texas for DNA testing - a rush order to identify them in case they are connected to any of the unsolved missing persons cases in Horry County. The remains have been in the Waccamaw area for years, according to Lt. Robert Kegler with the Horry County Police Department.

A search team looking for Heather Elvis, missing since December 18, came across the remains in a wooded area off Tidewater Road near Waccamaw Boulevard and contacted police. Officers collected the remains, and now the case is being investigated.

The bones were scattered across 100 yards of the wooded area, Lt. Kegler said, leading officers to believe an animal could have possibly moved them around.

Additional human remains were located on New Year's Day by a search party near Ronald McNair Boulevard, a short distance from the bones found over the weekend. Since it is not a complete skeleton, Coroner Edge believes the bones could belong to the same person. The anthropologist on the case can determine if the bones found are from the same male.

Coroner Edge said that he is not aware of any families of missing persons being contacted yet. If clothes had been found with the bones, police would have contacted families to see if they recognized the clothes.

Once the DNA analysis results come back, the coroner will be able to search the DNA samples on file in Horry County to see if there is a match to a missing persons case. The DNA test results could take months to come back, Edge said.

Edge said they hope to identify these remains soon and bring closure. "Everyone hopes it is their loved one, and we're trying to get it done as fast as possible so not to drag it out more than it needs to be," Edge said.

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