Investigators begin autopsy on human remains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Investigators begin autopsy on human remains found in West Lubbock

Cynthia Lopez is a researcher at the Texas Tech Institute for Forensic Sciences Cynthia Lopez is a researcher at the Texas Tech Institute for Forensic Sciences
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

An autopsy is underway on human remains found at a west Lubbock apartment.

Maintenance workers found the bones buried at the Chaparral Apartment complex on 24th and West Loop 289 Friday morning.

Police expect to get results back on the gender in a few days. However, the Texas Tech Institute for Forensic Sciences says that all depends on which bones investigators found.

"Particularly through the pelvis you distinguish sex through variations in the pelvic area," researcher Cynthia Lopez said.

Lopez says the autopsy started at the scene, but to minimize the margin of error other factors need to be looked at.

"I am shorter, so my bone morphology is going to be smaller, more gracile. Whereas, a male would be more robust," she said.

Lopez explains the key to identifying the person is through dental and medical records.

"People's dentitions are different. For instance, if you had a surgery where an implant had to be placed," she said.

And if clothing was found on the body, that is another good indicator of who this person could be.

"Personal items, wallets necklaces, jewelry,something that was very unique to that particular person. DNA can also be extracted," she said.

As for how long the autopsy could take? It all varies.

"It could take days, hours or months depending on the case load, priority of the case. If you have to bring in other researchers," Lopez said.

Residents of the Chaparal Apartments have been eagerly awaiting the results. Four days later, Marlon Turner is still in disbelief that something like this could happen feet from his doorstep.

"I've been hanging out, barbecuing, and the whole time it's like we had extra company and we didn't know it. It's kinda of weird," Turner said.

Turner says he's never seen anything like this happen in the area and is ready to hear the results so they can move on. However, his main concern is for the family of whoever the bones belong to.

"That'll be nice if they can get some closure and some peace," Turner said.

There is speculation that the remains could be those of Scott Dunn. He went missing in 1991 and is believed to have been murdered at the same apartments where the remains were found.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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