Could remains found be Kelly Dwyer? How do investigators solve these cases with so little to go on?

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JEFFERSON COUNTY (WITI) -- Work is still being done in an effort to identify human remains found this weekend in Jefferson County. Part of the process includes comparing the remains to the Kelly Dwyer's dental records. Dwyer has been missing since October of 2013. So how do investigators solve these cases with so little to go on?

Fred Anapol is a professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He often works with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office to identify bodies.

Neighbors in the remote area of the Town of Concord near Sullivan say an individual who lives on Inlynd Dr. discovered skeletal remains of what appears to be a white female on Friday evening, May 1st.

jefferson county human remains

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office guarded the remains throughout the night until the State Crime Lab and other officials could process the scene come daylight Saturday morning.

An autopsy was performed on Monday, May 4th, and officials in Jefferson County said Monday they were waiting for dental records to identify the remains.

"It may take some time. I may spend four to five hours over a skeleton," Dr. Anapol said.

Who could it be?

Kelly Dwyer

Kelly Dwyer

27-year-old Kelly Dwyer has been missing since October 2013. It was just last week that Dwyer's father, joined by a Milwaukee police captain and the family's private investigator, announced they'd soon be relaunching their search.

Kris Zocco, believed to be the last person to have seen Dwyer, is behind bars -- sentenced to serve 19 years after he was convicted on drug and child pornography charges. He has never been charged in connection with Dwyer's disappearance.

The Dwyer family's private investigator, Pablo Valezquez went out to Jefferson County this weekend after the remains were found.

"Because our area of interest is between Milwaukee and Madison, it piqued my interest to at least come out here and see what they found," Valezquez said.

But Valezquez says the search for Dwyer will continue until they're absolutely certain they've found Kelly.

"If it turns out that this may be Kelly, then our search effort will discontinue. Otherwise we will continue the searches. We're never going to give up hope. The Dwyer family's not going to give up hope. They have been informed that there was remains recovered in this area so they're just waiting for word," Valezquez said.

Kelly Dwyer

Kelly Dwyer

Dr. Anapol says when it comes to identifying remains, some things can be determined right away -- like gender, for example. He says if hair is found, race can be established. Beyond that, dental records can help to make an exact match.

"Your dental work like fillings are like fingerprints and every dentist has a different, will drill a little bit differently and then they fill it. Those fillings are radio opaque so you can identify exactly who it is by looking at the teeth," Dr. Anapol said.

Dr. Anapol isn't consulting on the Dwyer case at this time, but he's often in close contact with those who are involved in the case, and he says it would seem there is progress being made.

"I was talking to the medical examiner (Tuesday) morning and apparently he's able to establish some things about it," Dr. Anapol said.

Anapol is best known for his work helping to identify the skeletons of 29 victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy when Anapol was a graduate student in Illinois.

5 comments

  • PH

    How do they know it is a white female if it is a skeleton? Wouldn’t Kelly Dwyer missing for years now be just bones…

  • Melissa

    This is what could very well happen to ANY girl who makes stupid decisions to get involved in drugs and guys that sell/do drugs. Very sad for her family that she made such poor decisions.

  • Carly

    How could this be the kind, gentle kelly I was so close with when we were young. No matter how many mistakes she made, nobody deserves to decompose naked and alone and require dental records to be identified. Nobody.

  • Mel

    Hey IMPOSTER MELISSA,

    So because she was doing drugs, experimenting and partying she deserves this!?

    Please, stop DISGRACING my name! And poor decisions weren’t the issue. It was this monster who acted as if he was sweet and innocent that lured her in and killed her. He made the poor decision to remain alive, this piece of sh&t should have OD’ed.

    This other Melissa needs to just shut her ignorant mouth cause ANYONE, INCLUDING HERSELF CAN AND HAS MADE SOME STUPID, POOR DECISIONS so I would not be placing blame on an innocent woman who was the victim of a sick brutal murder. The only one here that deserves to die is this child porn watching, sick, twisted fu $& that will soon be sitting his 19 years. I say we bring back the death penalty for scum like this.

    I agree with you Carly! May Kelly Rest In Peace in the arms of angels where she belongs.

    My heart goes out to all of you, all of you who suffer everyday from the knowledge you can’t hug her anymore, talk to her anymore or see her beautiful smiling face again. If I could hug each and everyone of you I would. No one EVER DESERVES TO DIE ALONE AND AT THE HANDS OF A VIOLENT MURDERING PEDOPHILE!!!

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