Authorities in New York hope the human bones found in a Lake Grove residence recently will provide some clues to a mystery that has loomed over one family since 1961.
According to Newsday, George Carroll vanished decades ago with few clues regarding his possible whereabouts.
Carroll’s wife died in 1998, and his children say she didn’t shed much light on the disappearance.
Homicide Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer said the missing man’s relatives were digging in the concrete basement of the family home when they found apparent remains.
He said the bones are set to undergo DNA testing to determine whether they belong to Carroll.
“We can’t say for sure that it is the father, but we suspect that it is,” Beyrer explained.
The detective said Carroll’s disappearance has included “a family legend or lore that the father was buried in the basement since 1961.”
He said other theories about the Korean War veteran’s whereabouts included a scenario in which he returned to the region where he served.
“So the family just never really knew,” Beyrer said.
The home where the remains were found has been in the Carroll family since at least six years before the disappearance, according to police. Michael Carroll, who was an infant when his father vanished, hired a company that specializes in detecting things buried in the ground and used those results as a guide to where he and his two sons should begin digging.
After several months of attempts, they made the discovery on Tuesday and immediately contacted relatives. The following day, they reportedly contacted authorities to report their find.
For Michael Carroll, the genetic testing is merely a formality.
“I’m happy for my dad because he’s out of there,” the 57-year-old said. “He didn’t deserve to be in the hole. Now I can give him a decent burial.”
Beyrer described the location of the remains as “pretty far down” a hole in the basement, “probably four to five deep … under concrete.”
The missing man’s older children say they remember a well in the basement being covered by concrete when they were kids.
Police say an investigation into George Carroll’s disappearance remains ongoing.
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