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Officials awaiting forensic results on remains

March 22, 2012

Sgt. Tony Everett, public information officer for the Big Spring Police Department, fields questions regarding human remains found on the McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark during a press conference held Wednesday morning at the Hangar 25 Air Museum. (HERALD photo/Thomas Jenkins)

Officials with the Big Spring Police Department say an FBI evidence recovery team has wrapped up its part in the investigation of human remains discovered Tuesday and now it's a matter of waiting.

“That's basically the end of their involvement in the case,” Sgt. Tony Everett, public information officer with the BSPD, said. “They come in, process the scene and then leave. Now the evidence has been sent to the medical examiner's office in Tarrant County and is in the hands of the pathologists.”

Unfortunately, there's no way to know how long it will take to receive results, Everett said.

Law enforcement officials were called to the grisly scene — located near the 2500 block of Apron Drive on McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark — Tuesday afternoon when employees of Desert Tank made the discovery.

“Dispatch received a call that human remains had been found in a pasture. The remains were found by workers in the area,” Everett said. “Investigators have confirmed the remains are human, however, due to the condition of them, nothing else can really be established at this time, including age or gender.

“The area where the remains were found was fenced and gated, but it could have been accessed. The body was obscured, but at least part of it was visible, which is what the workers saw, causing them to call 911. It was an area that isn't often traveled.”

Everett said the lid from one of the large tanks at the scene was placed over the remains shortly after the discovery was made.

“We knew there was a storm coming in and we needed to protect the scene as much as possible,” Everett said. “The lid was placed over the remains until the FBI team from Dallas could arrive.”

There are at least three high-profile missing person cases in the Crossroads area, all three of which are being thrust into the media spotlight with word of Tuesday's discovery.

Arlin Bynum, who was 40 years old at the time of his disappearance, was last seen Aug. 14, 2003, in the vicinity of the San Franciscan Bar and Grill, located in downtown Big Spring. According to police reports, witnesses claim he left the establishment late in the evening, supposedly accompanied by another man who has never been identified. Bynum’s truck was later found near the bar.

Repeated searches of Big Spring fields, pastures and scrublands have yet to turn up any indication what happened to Bynum, according to Big Spring police officials.

Also missing is Hailey Dunn of Colorado City, who was 13 at the time she disappeared. The teen was last seen in Colorado City on Dec. 27, 2010, when she told a family friend — former Big Spring resident Shawn Adkins — she was going to her father's home nearby and then on to spend the night at a friend's home.

According to investigators, she did neither. Billie Dunn, the girl's mother, said she last saw her daughter at home the night of Dec. 26, nearly two days before she was reported missing.

The oldest of the three cases, is that of Bobby Marquez Jr., who has been missing approximately 14 years. In December 2006, the Texas Rangers, assisted by the BSPD and other law enforcement agencies, excavated a cement slab in the 1000 block of N.W. Second Street in hopes of recovering Marquez's remains. However, no body was found during the search, according to BSPD officials.

While numerous news outlets across the Permian Basin have already linked the discovery of the human remains Tuesday with the Dunn missing person case, Everett said it is too early in the investigation to make any kind of conclusion regarding the identity of the remains.

“There is simply no way to know right now,” Everett said. “We don't know what gender the remains are right now, so to speculate whether or not they are Hailey Dunn is pointless. Until the pathologists give us more information to go on, trying to say these remains belong to any of these missing persons is merely speculation.”

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