Earthly body located and identified; Lacey L. Yekel 25 - Messena, New York
Ms. Yekel was last seen by her mother, Bonnie Sue Lamay of Massena, on June 4, but had not been reported missing prior to the discovery of the body. Her 25th birthday was Aug. 27.
The cause and manner of death are pending further forensic examination. Investigators used research databases of reported missing persons as part of the attempt to identify the body.
State police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and uniformed officers responded to a report of a partially wrapped body Aug. 29 in a wooded area across the road from the NYSARC bottle redemption center in the Massena Industrial Park, just off Route 420.
Initial evidence suggested the body had been there for some time, Senior Investigator John H. Donohue of the BCI in Ray Brook said at the time.
St. Lawrence County Coroner Jamie Sienkiewycz authorized removal of the body to Albany, where an autopsy was conducted by Dr. Michael Sikirica, a forensic pathologist at Albany Medical Center.
BCI Capt. Robert S. LaFountain said investigators spoke with Ms. Yekel's family once her body was identified. He said investigators are still determining a timeline on Ms. Yekel's whereabouts.
"As far as the manner and cause of death remain under investigation, we do not like to speculate on what they may be; having said that, we cannot rule out foul play, as it remains under investigation," Mr. LaFountain said, adding that he would not comment on the condition of Ms. Yekel's body when it was discovered. "I've never said the body was decomposed."
Investigators relied on DNA samples.
"The preliminary investigative steps identified several potential individuals who the body had been linked to, based on DNA and dental records," Mr. LaFountain said. "That information and interviews got us the dental records and DNA for Lacey, and Dr. Sikirica made a match based on those records."