Mystery Of Headless Torso Found In Pocono Mountains

12/30/2011 05:53 pm ET
  • David Lohr Senior Crime Reporter, The Huffington Post

Authorities in Pennsylvania have more questions than answers about a human torso that was found earlier this week along a heavily wooded section of a road lacing through the Pocono Mountains.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, a passing motorist made the gruesome discovery Monday afternoon. The torso was discovered inside a plastic bag along the southbound lane on Route 191, south of Henryville.

Authorities are calling the case a homicide. The location of the bag indicates the killer wanted the victim to be found.

Initial investigation revealed the killer had severed the head, hands and legs elsewhere before dumping the torso, police said.

According to Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen, the torso is believed to have belonged to a man who could have been as young as 25. The victim is believed to have been dead between for two weeks and two months.

A state police press release said autopsy of the victim revealed he had a chest scar, indicating a "past surgical procedure."

Troopers in the Poconos have spent the past several days searching for additional body parts. So far those searches have proved futile.

On Thursday, Dr. Ann Dhody, a forensic anthropologist from the Philadelphia College of Physicians, examined the torso at Lehigh Valley Hospital and took several samples. The results of that examination will not be available for several months, the Scranton Times Tribune reported.

The torso discovery marks the third dismembered body found in the area in the past decade.

In July 2002, a torso was found in Jackson Township. The victim was later identified as 46-year-old Robert Roudbush, of Plymouth. The case remains unsolved.

In January 2008, Pennsylvania State Police found a severed head and dismembered remains scattered along interstates in Monroe and Lackawanna counties. The victim was later identified as 36-year-old Deanna Maria Null. Authorities have arrested Charles Ray Hicks, 33, in the murder. He has denied involvement and is awaiting trial.

Anyone with information regarding the most recent torso discovery is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police at 570-839-7701.

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