TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Could the remains of a woman missing in Delaware in 1997 be the human bones found in a Corbin storage unit Thursday afternoon?
That’s what Corbin police and state authorities are trying to find out.
The bones were inside three bags found in a unit at Pier Rental and Storage on the Cumberland Falls Highway. They were discovered around 4 p.m.
Police have confirmed the bones are human, and are female. Lt. Rusty Hedrick of the Corbin Police Department reported the husband of the woman missing in Delaware rented the unit. While his name was not released, they added the man died in Alabama in May of this year.
An obituary in the Times-Tribune from May 15 showed Robert Allen Wood, 59, of Scottsboro, Ala., formerly of Corbin, died May 4 in a Huntsville, Ala., hospital.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported two men bought the unit’s contents after the man — who once lived in Corbin — died this spring.
“They had an auction yesterday, and a gentleman was going through the contents of a storage unit that he bought at an auction. He found three plastic grocery-style bags inside the unit. He opened them up and saw bones. He actually identified a lower jawbone and determined it was a human jawbone,” Hedrick said Friday.
The man alerted the storage facility of what he found, and Pier Storage contacted police immediately.
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley was also contacted and went to the scene. Minutes later, Croley positively determined the bones were human remains. His office plans to start a death investigation.
The bones were sent Friday to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort. As of Friday evening, Croley said the remains have not been identified.
“At this time, we don’t have a positive ID yet, and we’re still in the process of letting the medical examiner, the state anthropologist and the medical staff make their identification,” he stated.
Police believe the bones had been in the storage unit for years. Hedrick noted the storage unit was originally rented in 2002.
Corbin police believe the discovery of the bones is connected to a cold case on a missing person in Delaware.
Doris Anne Wood of Newark, Del., was last seen alive on July 28, 1997. She was reported to have left her residence to meet with her sister and never arrived. She has never been heard from again.
Wood was 42 years old at the time. Wood was described as a white female, 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 2 inches tall, and weighing 115 pounds. She has brown hair, green eyes, and was wearing glasses.
According to the Delaware Missing Persons Directory, her husband’s name is Robert Wood.
“We’re trying to confirm that. We will be treating this case as a homicide,” Hedrick mentioned.
“We’re looking into that. The medical examiner’s office will make contact with authorities in Delaware about obtaining dental records and notifying next-of-kin,” said Det. Bill Rose of Corbin Police.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.