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BUFORD | Bones found last week match remains from 2009 | News

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BUFORD | Bones found last week match remains from 2009
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga -- A partial set of skeletal remains discovered in unincorporated Buford match a dismembered torso found in the same area in 2009, the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's office announced Wednesday.

Gwinnett Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Carole Terry was on the scene in July 2009 when a man's torso was found off Woodward Mill Road in Buford.

At the time, she said the unidentified man had been dead about a week. Without someone coming forward, she felt there was little hope to find out who it was.

"The possibilities at that point in time were pretty slim," she said.

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When a severed skull and arm and leg bones were found recently off Brown Road in Buford, Dr. Terry got renewed hope.

"We have a dismembered body or torso and we've got extremities that have been cut," she said. "So the thought was, let's go back and compare them with the bones we have from the torso and see if they match."

Dr. Terry was in luck -- a piece of a femur bone from 2009 fit a piece of a femur found last week.

"You could see a unique lip on one end of the bone that matched with a divot on the end of another bone and they fit together," she said. "This is called fracture matching; it's like what you do with a puzzle."

Dr. Terry is convinced now that whoever killed the man tried to conceal his identity by dumping his remains in two different places. She doesn't think animals could have moved the bones that far.

"And for the number of bones to have made it from one location to another location, that would not have happened," she added.

Dr. Terry said the victim was a man, probably Hispanic, between 20 and 40 years old. He died in July 2009 shortly before his torso was found. She is hopeful the discovery will get investigators closer to identifying the victim.

"We have the forensic artist at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Marla Lawson, doing a facial reconstruction from the skull," she said.

A cause of death has been determined, but Dr. Terry can't release it publicly because of the investigation. She did say the victim was dead before being dismembered.

"I think there's a very good chance now we're going to get this man identified," she said.

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