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Human bones found near shelter identified

Human bones that were found Monday near an area homeless shelter have been identified. Sheriff Wendell Beam Reports: On April 29 after the recovery of human bones that were found near the Highland Mill Bridge in Griffin, investigators had been working with the Georgia State Crime Lab and the Coroner’s Office to identify the remains. On May 2 the Georgia State Crime Lab positively identified the remains as 47 year old Ralph Hardin. The Forensic Pathologist stated that no trauma to the remains were noted and has ruled the death as natural. Hardin had been reported missing by family members on January 24 after they could not locate him to inform him that the Spalding Regional Hospital needed for him to return to the hospital. Investigators learned that Hardin had been in the hospital and left before tests being conducted on him were finished. No foul play is suspected in this case. Previous release from Spalding Co. sheriff Wendell Beam: On April 29, 2013 Deputies with the Uniformed Patrol Division were dispatched to a residence on Lucky Street Griffin, Georgia, reference to a person finding bones. After the deputies arrived and viewed the bag containing the bones they contacted Investigator’s that the bag containing the bones may possibly be human bones. Investigators arrived on the scene and determined the bones were that of a human. The person who located the bones showed investigators where he had located the bones. The area was that of a homeless persons shelter located south of the Highland Mill Bridge (E. McIntosh Road). Crime Scene Investigators with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and the Griffin Police Department processed the scene and were assisted by deputies and officer’s of both agencies. The Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster was notified and arrangements were made to transport the remains to the Georgia State Crime Lab. The investigation continues and no other information can be given until the Crime Lab is able to tell investigators the gender of the remains and any other information that may help with the identity of the person. Investigators have already checked the missing person’s system for known missing persons within Griffin and Spalding County.

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