Warren County officials exhume remains from 1987 cold case

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WARRENTON, MO (KPLR) - The remains of a headless man were exhumed from a grave in the Warrenton City Cemetery Monday. Detectives hope they can soon identify the body and find the killer of the man. The headless body was also missing both hands, they were chopped off.  The body was discovered almost thirty years ago in 1987 nine miles north of Warrenton.  Deputies hope new technology can help them identify the person.

Lt. Matt Schmutz said, “D.N.A. wasn’t being done in ‘87 to my knowledge.”

Lt. Schmutz is a detective at the Warren County Sheriff Department. He was on hand in the city cemetery, along with officials from a number of agencies, when the grave was exhumed.  At one point they had to sift through the dirt to make sure no evidence was harmed.  The remains were inside a plastic bag in a wooden box.  They will be sent to North Texas University to be examined by experts. Lt.  Schmutz said, “They’re very good at what they do they come highly recommended from a lot of different people I have met over the last few months.”

Several months ago the sheriff asked Schmutz to take a fresh look at the case.  The unidentified man was white; between 35 and 45-years-old wearing size nine Nike shoes. He wore a 1987 Rose Bowl Michigan Wolverines Big 10 Champions t-shirt and was 5’ 8: to 5’ 10”. He weighed around 240 pounds. A gold colored coin with the logo of the Kansas City International Airport was found in his pocket.

Schmutz was hopeful D.N.A. can be extracted and possibly match a sample of the man to one on a medical computer somewhere or possibly an F.B.I. computer.  But, there may be problems. There was no vault to protect the remains.  Schmutz said, “It’s a little uncertain at this time because the remains were very poorly preserved.”