Remains of man missing for 27 years discovered in chimney
The remains of a man who has been missing for 27 years have been discovered lodged in the chimney of a bank in the USA.
Joseph Schexnider, who was 22, disappeared from the town of Abbeville, Louisiana in January 1984, after missing a court hearing over charges of possessing a stolen vehicle.
It is thought his family did not report him missing because police officers had arrived at their home searching for him following the missed court appearance.
Mr Schexnider’s mother said at the time that he had been known to leave abruptly – including once to work on a circus – and was this time thought to be on a “rendezvous”.
However, human remains were discovered with a pair of gloves, a cigarette lighter, a watch and a wallet in a chimney during renovations carried out to Abbeville National Bank in May.
This week DNA tests by a Louisiana State University laboratory confirmed that the remains in the chimney, which was sealed off later in the 1980s, were those of Mr Schexnider.
Mary Manheim, the head of the lab, said Mr Schexnider “died within a few days maximum of when he went into that chimney”
It has been speculated that Mr Schexnider died of dehydration or starvation. However, Ms Manheim told ABC News, “Nobody will ever know” precisely how he died.
He had no bag with him so is not suspected of trying to rob the bank, police have said.
Lt. David Hardy, a local detective, said: “Hopefully this will give the family some closure. There's no signs of foul play in this investigation, so as of now it's going to be a closed case.”
“His mother is upset that she lost a son, of course, but she is at ease that she now knows where her son is”.