CRIME

Joseph Schexnider, Remains Found In Chimney After 27 Years

07/28/2011 10:50 am ET | Updated Sep 27, 2011

The skeletal remains found in the chimney of an Abbeville, La., bank have been identified as Joseph Schexnider who disappeared at the age of 22 in 1984.

Contractors renovating part of the Abbeville National Bank found bones in May as they worked on part of the building that had been shut for 30 years, according to KATC. The missing man's identity was confirmed through DNA tests. HIs wallet, watch, gloves and a cigarette lighter were also discovered.

Schexnider, who served in the Army National Guard, vanished in January 1984 when he was due in court to face charges that he possessed a stolen vehicle. HIs mother told police he'd fled, CNN reported, but she wasn't surprised when she didn't hear from him, because he'd disappeared for stretches, even once joining a traveling circus.

Authorities can only speculate, but they believe Schexnider died of dehydration and starvation, and still cannot answer why he was in the chimney in the first place. Mary Manhein, head of FACES, the lab that provided the DNA testing, told ABC she thinks he would have died within a few days of crawling into the tight space.

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