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No identification yet on victim of Saturday fire north of Crocker
CROCKER, Mo. (June 22, 2009) — Extended delays are likely before law enforcement personnel can say for certain who died in a Saturday morning fire north of Crocker.

According to Capt. Bill Anderson of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Depsrtment, most family members of the person who ordinarily resided in a house on Blue Jay Road have been notified of the Saturday fire, but the fire victim’s body was burned to the point that physical identification could not be made.

“From the remains, I can tell you that on the surface it appears to be an adult male,” Anderson said. “We’re making a logical leap of faith that the person who was in the house belonged in the house, but we don’t know that until we have proof positive.”

An autopsy was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday in Springfield and will be attended by a representative of the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office, but Anderson said he doesn’t know when autopsy results will be available.

“I won’t know anything for a while,” Anderson said. “DNA identification does not occur overnight.”

While many people in Crocker believe they know who died in the fire, Anderson cautioned against speculation.

“One of the things that we don’t want to do is make an error in notification to family that someone is deceased. It is always better to withhold the data until you are positive on the identification as opposed to making an erroneous identification,” Anderson said. “In a case like this where we were unable to make a positive physical identification, the process of DNA will assist us in having a 100 percent positive identification.”

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