Unearthing skeleton could take days

In Madison County, investigators in the City of Oneida are trying to excavate and analyze a set of bones that was found by a woman fishing near a creek. A special team of medical examiners is unearthing the body. They'll be looking into two missing persons cases in the city that could be connected.

Twenty one year old Christine Markey has been missing since 1993. Nineteen year old Tammy Mahoney vanished back in 1981.

The process of excavating the body in Oneida is a very delicate process. Forensic experts are unearthing the full human skeleton inch by inch.

Oneida City Police Chief David Meeker said, "It's a slow process just to make sure that we don't miss something, any jewelry, clothing, any of that stuff. We want to make sure we get all that, remove it, get it sealed as evidence."

The chief says there is some material with the body, possibly clothing. Right now, police don't know how long the body's been there or if there was foul play involved. There are some teeth intact so the chief says that could help with identification. "It'll be easier once the information is there because we can send out a teletype saying this is the dental record. They'll match it up with missing persons try to come up with one that we have from this area or someplace else."

The chief says other nearby agencies that have open missing persons cases have contacted his department.

Wednesday afternoon, the Oneida City Police took pictures of the scene from the air and removed some possible evidence. The chief says it could take a few days to completely unearth the body.

"Once the medical examiner's get the body, they'll take it get it back try to identify how long its been here, if it's a male or female, height, and try to give us an idea on the age," said chief Meeker.

The chief says that's only the beginning of this story, then investigators have to figure out why this body is out here.