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Anthropologist called to study remains found along Allegheny Passage

| Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 9:28 a.m.
Investigators work at the site where human remains were found near Meyersdale, Somerset County, on Nov. 12, 2012. The remains were discovered and reported to the Pennsylvania State Police on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.

A forensic anthropologist and his team were called to Somerset County Monday to help gather and study human remains found along the Great Allegheny Passage biking and hiking trail.

The remains were found around 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Larimer Township, just outside Meyersdale, by someone using the trail, state police spokesman Trooper Stephen Limani said.

After troopers determined the remains were human, Dennis Dirkmaat of Mercyhurst University was called in to recover the remains and try to identify them, Limani said.

“Right now, we don't even know the gender,” Limani said Monday.

Troopers secured the scene until Dirkmaat's team arrived.

“We haven't been touching anything,” Limani said.

“The physical evidence that could be lost and the mistakes that could be made by not having an expert handle this could be detrimental to the case.”

Neighbors gathered outside to talk and watch as investigators used yellow tape to mark off a wooded area under the trail bypass near Glade City Road.

A blue tarp shielded the scene as investigators worked Monday afternoon, and the roadway was closed to traffic for a time.

State police may hold a news conference about the case Tuesday afternoon, Limani said.

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