Coroner works to ID remains believed to be missing Ohio man

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Human remains that officials believe are those of an Ohio man missing since 2002 are badly deteriorated, a coroner said, and authorities are trying to make a positive identification with dental records and partial tattoos.

The Lorain County Coroner’s office told The Morning Journal ( ) in Lorain on Thursday that it hopes to have a positive identification next week.

Clarence Thomas was reported missing from Lorain in early 2003, several months after he disappeared from the city about 30 miles west of Cleveland. Authorities found what they believe are the 31-year-old man’s remains on June 22 buried 2 feet below the surface of a rural farmer’s field in Lorain County.

“It was quite decomposed because it’s been in the ground for years,” said County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.

Police say a man serving multiple life sentences for several murder cases in West Virginia is a suspect in Thomas’ disappearance and pointed them to his remains. The investigation is continuing.

A police report said Thomas’ mother said her son had been involved with drugs and had “troubles.”

He also had a domestic violence warrant with Lorain police, police said, and his family initially thought he was homeless.

Detective Buddy Sivert said separate investigations were conducted in 2003, 2004 and 2007. Police then received a tip about a month ago.

Sivert said Thomas’ family also believed initially that he may have traveled to New York City and ran into some trouble there.


Information from: The Morning Journal,