2017-11-15 / Front Page

Sheriff releases new photo in effort to ID remains

by Kate Shunney

An investigation into the identity of a person's remains found on a wooded hillside in Berkeley Springs two weeks ago has taken a further turn as the Morgan County Sheriff's Department continues to work the case.

Sheriff K.C. Bohrer has released the photo of a Hispanic man who may be connected to the case. Bohrer is asking for help identifying the man and finding any family contact information related to him.

The man, who may have used the name Andreas Sanchez, is believed to have frequented the Takoma Park, Md. area and may have worked at a ranch or farm in West Virginia.

Bohrer said investigators have been working with police and interviewing individuals in the Washington, D.C. metro area in relation to the case.

Previously, the Sheriff's Department released the photo of a different Hispanic male in a search for clues to the identity of the remains found on November 1. That first photo came from a non-government ID found with the remains behind a house in the 500 block of Martinsburg Road.

The house, police found, had been rented out to church groups as a retreat. The deceased person may have been part of a church group that came to Berkeley Springs to use the residence, Bohrer said. It's possible the ID card found with the body wasn't a legitimate card, he said. The more recent photo released by police came from a church retreat group. Police believe the person was in Berkeley Springs in February of 2016.

A local couple walking their dog along Golden Lane discovered the remains on November 1 after the dog went sniffing into the wooded area. Golden Lane ends just above the residence that remains part of the death investigation.

Sheriff Bohrer said it may not be possible to determine who the remains are. The State Medical Examiner's Office now has the skeletal remains and will perform forensic tests to determine a possible cause and date of death and other details about the person.

Anyone with information about the identity of the man pictured in today's release should contact Capt. Tim Stapleton with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department at 304-258-1067, or by email at tstapleton@morgan countywv.gov.

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