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Decomposed human remains found in south Lincoln County

Authorities discovered human remains in southern Lincoln County early Tuesday morning.

The body was too decomposed to determine identification or gender of the person, Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum said. The body has been taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort and an autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday morning, Marcum said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Curt Folger said his office got a call around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday — “a guy was wanting to pretty much take us and show us where the body was.”

The sheriff’s office called in Kentucky State Police and the two agencies responded to the Pilot Creek area near Waynesburg, KSP Trooper Robert Purdy said. The body was found just before 2 a.m., he said.

Purdy confirmed the body’s condition made it impossible to confirm identity or gender at the scene; it also means KSP doesn’t yet know how the person may have died, so the investigation remains a death investigation and not a murder investigation.

“Trying to tie it to any case would be purely speculation” at this point, Purdy said Tuesday.

Marcum said he can’t put a specific timeframe on how long the body had been exposed to the elements, but it looked similar to many other bodies he’s seen that have been outside for “several weeks.”

“I’m not an expert in that, so I can’t tell you, (but) I’ve seen a lot of individuals that have been in that condition,” he said.

There were no facial features that could be used for identification and there was “tight material wrapped around the decedent” that prevented analysis of the hipbone, which can indicate gender, Marcum explained.

“We didn’t want to disturb anything, so we kind of left everything intact,” he said.

The autopsy Wednesday will be “very thorough” and will hopefully lead to an identification through dental records, Marcum said.

Results may take a few days — “when you have an individual that’s been out in the elements for quite some time, it makes it take a little bit longer to determine some things … it slows down the investigation.”

Marcum said everyone involved in the investigation is working to “give this individual respect” by being thorough and making sure they find and notify family members first once an ID is determined.

“It’s never going to heal their pain, but it helps a little bit,” he said.

There are thousands of others around the world who die and their bodies are never found, Marcum said.

“Luckily, in this case, the family will get some closure once (the body) is identified.”

KSP is leading the ongoing investigation.