UPDATE: Remains Found Of Missing Buffalo Woman; First Set Not Identified
MAYVILLE — A Buffalo family has gotten the answer they dreaded — the body of Marquita Mull, 50, has been found.
Her remains were identified as one of the two women discovered near a hiking trail in the town of Portland.
The other woman’s body remains to be identified, although using dental records, police know it’s not the body of Lori Ceci Bova or Corrie Anderson. It’s yet to be determined if the remains could be Patricia Laemmerhirt, a Westfield resident who was last seen in April 1976.
Sheriff James Quattrone made the announcement Thursday morning at a press conference in Mayville. He declined to guess if he felt the two deaths were connected. “We’re going to stick with the facts rather than speculate because we feel that by sticking with the facts, it’s going to help us with our investigation,” he said.
The remains of the unidentified woman were found on Sept. 26 by a hiker on the Chautauqua County Rails to Trails off of Woleben Road. That individual found what she believed was a human skull. Officers secured the scene and brought out a specialist from Mercyhurst University’s Anthropology Division the following morning. Investigators did some excavating of the scene and recovered the skeletal remains from a shallow grave, about 6 inches deep. Quattrone said the body is estimated to have been in the ground for “decades.”
A portion of the skeletal remains will now be sent to the New York State Crime Lab in Albany for DNA testing. When those results are in, they will be compared to Lammerhirt, as well as other missing persons from Western New York. Quattrone is hoping the results will be available in four to six weeks.
On Sept. 27, when investigators were doing a grid search for other evidence, they came across Mull’s body, 10 yards from the spot where the first person was buried. That body was estimated to have been there two to six months.
Unlike the first body, Quattrone said no attempt was made to bury Mull’s body. The Buffalo woman’s remains were actually in a thick brush area. “The area was overgrown with different weeds and brush. If you were walking down the trail and just glancing over in that area you likely wouldn’t have seen it. Officers were there for almost two and a half hours within 10 yards of it and didn’t see her body,” he said.
See Friday’s edition for complete coverage.