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Investigators uncover what they believe is second May Road body

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POTSDAM - State police have uncovered the remains of what they believe could be the remains of a second person buried behind a mobile home at 733 May Road in the town of Stockholm.

A release from state police at approximately 8 p.m. announced that the human remains had been located, but Lt. John R, Coryea said they couldn’t be certain what they found was in fact human due to the level of decomposition.

“We can’t even say 100 percent that it is human but with the totality of the situation and with the information and location of the two bodies we were looking for we feel comfortable saying that the remains are human,” Mr. Coryea said.

While investigators were unable to identity the first body, which was discovered Friday afternoon in a concrete-lined, wooden box and also wrapped in a cloth, Mr. Coryea said this body had significant decomposition.

Monday’s findings were only buried in blanket.

The remains were not officially exhumed at the time of the original state police release, and Mr. Coryea said the Forensics Identification Unit was still struggling with the frozen ground in attempting to remove the body.

It took longer than we expected because after they discovered the blanket-wrapped body, state police forensic identification unit members had to slowly dig around the body with tools not unlike that of an archeologist so as no to disrupt any possible evidence.

“We had to dig around the body which is why it took so much time,” Mr. Coryea said. “As we got deeper and deeper in the ground, it got harder to thaw.”

“While the body is still exposed, the bottom of the body is still frozen to the ground. So technically, we haven’t exhumed it yet, but we are very close,” he said.

At first investigators had not know what they uncovered as it was only a tip of blanket exposed, but at around midday, Mr. Coryea said the size, shape and blanket wrapped remains matched the information the were given on what to look for.

The discovery of the set of human remains is all a part of the search for Betty Babcock and her husband, Alvin, the couple in their 80s believed to have been buried behind the May Road trailer occupied by Robert Bartlett, who, according to relatives of Mrs. Babcock, used to drive the elderly couple to doctor appointments.

The search for thecouple started as a welfare fraud investigation that turned into a missing persons investigation on March 18 and then a death investigation on Friday when police uncovered the first of the set of human remains.

St. Lawrence County Coroner James M. Sienkiewycz had been back and forth to the scene three times Monday before he was able to identify the findings as human remains.

“They are wrapped in a cloth in the earth right now and we are just waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate so we can remove the remains,” Mr. Sienkiewycz said. “Everything has to come out very gently so they are moving very slowly, very professionally and they are doing an amazing job.”

Forensics team members were running water pumps to flush out the thawed remains of frozen ground surrounding the body as they worked, Mr. Sienkiewycz said.

“They have to have a clear view of what they are doing and they are in their on their hands and knees with their little shovels getting down in it and trying to do this very delicately,” Mr. Sienkiewycz said. “They have been at this all day.”

Both sets of remains were expected to be delivered to Albany Medical Center, where an autopsy performed by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Sikirica. is scheduled for about 11 a.m. Tuesday

No charges or arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation.

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