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Skeleton Found In Johnstown Home Sent To Mercyhurst For Identification

Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees said remains were found hidden in a crawl space in a Johnstown home after midnight Saturday morning.

Lees said police were called for a welfare check at a home on the 100th block of Adams Street in Johnstown. He said when they arrived, they noticed a large number of flies on the inside of the windows, as well as a foul smell coming from the home.

He said the fire department was called to force entry into the house. Lees said a body wrapped in a tarp was found “well hidden” in the rafters of a third-floor crawl space off of a bedroom in the home. Lees said the body had been there for 5 to 6 months and was down to the skeletal remains.

While he said the remains appear to be a male body, further anthropology and DNA testing is required for a positive identification.

He said a male was reported missing from the address where the body was found in December 2023. He said police had searched the home several times following the initial report, but he stressed that the remains were very well hidden. He said officials now have a possible idea of who the individual is, and he said he was in direct contact with the family Saturday morning.

Lees said the coroner’s office is deeming the death “highly suspicious.”

“We’ve had a rash of very complex and time-consuming cases, and unfortunately, this is going to be another one that’s going to require a lot of time and attention,”

Lees said the coroner’s office is working with the Johnstown Police Department and Cambria County District Attorney’s office during the investigation.

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