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Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies search area where remains were found

Posted at 9:16 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 21:16:18-04

PORTLAND, N.Y. (WKBW) — Flowers mark the spot where human remains were found inside a shallow grave in Chautauqua County. 

Last week, a hiker on the Chautauqua Rails to Trails path in Portland was searching for her lost keys when police say she stumbled upon a skull. During a grid search close by, Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says another set of human remains were found.

“It’s very strange,” he said.

Monday, members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police were back at the scene on Woleben Road in Portland searching for more evidence. K9’s were canvasing the area.

Sheriff Quattrone says police do suspect foul play. He says one set of remains is likely female and decades old. He says weather played a part in the remains being discovered.

“It started to be exposed by the weather and erosion,” he said of the grave. “No one had walked through there. We are going to work hard at this and hopefully give some level of comfort to some families.

Sheriff Quattrone says Detectives are looking at three Chautauqua County missing persons cases. Patricia Laemmerhirt who went missing in 1976, Lori Bova who went missing in 1997 and Corrie Anderson who vanished in 2008.

“We are still waiting for preliminary results,” he said of the remains.

Police say it could take a month or more to fully identify the remains. Sheriff Quattrone says although time has passed, evidence can still be recovered.

“There are many databases we can search,” he said.