Human jaw bone found in Chemung River
CHEMUNG, N.Y. (WENY) -- The human jaw bone found in the Chemung River last May has raised many questions for law enforcement.
On May 11th, the Chemung County Sheriff's Office was called after a boater located a human jaw bone just east of the Town of Chemung. On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, and Elmira Police were back on the river, a few miles downstream from Elmira, looking for any additional remains. No additional remains were found during Thursday's search. The jaw bone is now undergoing DNA testing at a State Police crime lab.
“What the Sheriff's Office is doing, and we're standing by as well, is waiting for a DNA match on that jaw bone to see if there is a match and if it is who it comes back to,” Anthony Alvernaz, Chief of Elmira Police, said.
There are a few open missing person cases throughout Chemung County. Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz said it’s possible the jaw bone could be connected to a reported missing person from the area, but only time will tell.
“We're still investigating, and again, I think we're at a holding pattern until those DNA results come back,” Alvernaz said. “At that point, our case will either be furthered, or the Sheriff's Office will have other avenues to look at as well.”
It could be several weeks before the DNA results are revealed. Anyone who might have information about the remains is asked to contact law enforcement.
"In relation to the human remains on the Chemung River, I would ask everybody to direct any information they may have to the Sheriff's Office,” Alvernaz said. “I'm certain they would filter it to us.”
Elmira police did say they have a missing person case open in the city. Matthew Barber has not been seen since November of 2020. It's not known yet if the bone could belong to Barber or someone else. People with any information regarding the remains are encouraged to contact the Elmira Police Department at 607-734-2031 or the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office at 607-737-2987.