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Police send human remains for identification

BY SCOTT SHENK

THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Police aren’t saying much about the human remains found on Monday in a wooded area behind GEICO in Stafford.

Stafford Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said the “decomposed human remains” were sent to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond with the hope of identifying the person and the cause of death.

Kennedy said the remains were discovered by people playing in the wooded area behind the GEICO building off of U.S. 17. Deputies responded to the scene at about 3 p.m. Investigators later arrived and worked the scene, Kennedy said.

The New Year’s Eve find is the third such discovery in the Fredericksburg area since August, when a woman’s remains were found in a wooded area off an Interstate 95 exit in Stafford. In November, more human remains were found along a power line easement in Spotsylvania.

Authorities haven’t said exactly where the remains discovered behind GEICO were found. There was no apparent police activity Tuesday.

The large GEICO building stands in a busy shopping and residential area.

Behind the building, however, it seems secluded.

Stafford Lakes Parkway curls around behind GEICO, a mostly abandoned stretch that ends at a cul-de-sac where Holy Cross Academy is. At one spot along the road Tuesday, several cars were parked in a gravel lot near a wooded area.

The spot is just around the corner from several neighborhoods and Walmart.

Monday’s discovery comes less than two months after a similar find in Spotsylvania.

According to the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office, remains were found on Nov. 3 in the right-of-way of the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s high-voltage power lines in the 9000 block of Brock Road.

The sheriff’s office sent those remains to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond. No further information on the finding has been released.

Three months earlier, on Aug. 16, a trucker found human remains in a wooded area along the northbound Interstate 95 off-ramp to Courthouse Road in Stafford.

Authorities later said the remains were those of Katherine Bryant of Washington. She was 33 when her family reported her missing in 2006.

Police said her death is suspicious.

Anyone with information about the Stafford discoveries can call the sheriff’s office at 540/658-4400, Crime Solvers at 540/659-2020 or text STAFFORD and your tip to CRIMES (274637).

Anyone with information about the Spotsylvania discovery can call the sheriff’s office at 540/582-7115 or Crime Solvers at 540/582-5822.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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