MANASSAS, Va. (CBSDC) – Across the state of Virginia human bones are locked away in bank boxes without a name.
Many of these bones are found on hiking trails, off of highways or in parks, but it has become a growing concern for Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner.
Dr. Leah Bush, M.D., would like these bones to be identified as many of them are linked to criminal cases after they are examined further.
In fact, Bush says one-third of these bones have been linked to homicide.
Virginia has spent almost $500,000 in federal grant money to identify these questionable bones, and out have the 220 cases archived, over 70 of them have been linked to homicides.
“We have killers walking free,” Bush said. “And as people in investigation will tell you, until you know who an individual is, it’s very difficult to investigate their murder.”
Bush says these investigations have yielded eight i.d.’s in just the last two years.
At a press conference in her Manassas office Thursday, Bush presented three colorless masks rendered by the FBI in Quantico from the skulls of three men -one black, one Asian, one white- discovered since 2003 in Northern Virginia.
The office of the Chief Medical Examiner has been working with a $400, 18 month grant from the Department of Justice to add each case to Namus.gov, the national missing and unidentified person system and to raise awareness of the issue.