Human remains found near the West Manchester Mall last fall are those of a homicide victim, police and York County Coroner Pam Gay said Thursday.
“We feel at this time we have enough to determine the manner of death was homicide,” said York County Coroner Pam Gay.
West Manchester Township police said forensic experts were able to find evidence of trauma during an examination of the skull and bones found November 19 in a wooded area near the intersection of Loucks and Haviland roads.
Police did not disclose how the man was killed because that information could ultimately compromise their investigation.
Authorities are still working to identify the victim, and conceded they may never know who the man was.
“If this is a case where someone was never reported missing by anyone anywhere, it's still going to be a long road ahead of us,” said West Manchester Det. Sean Conway.
They have released a sketch of what he probably looked like so that someone may recognize the face and provide investigators with more information.
“There are people out there who have the answers and hopefully, when we identify the victim, we can seek those people out and get some answers,” Police Sgt. Jeff Snell said, “but the main goal is to find out who the victim is. Once that happens, this investigation can really get launched at this point.”
Experts have determined the man was not of African-American descent, and they believe he was most likely between 35 to 45 years old and between 5'4″ and 5'9″ tall, police said.
His dental profile has been entered into a national database, but has not matched those of any missing persons. The University of Texas is working on a DNA profile, police said.
Police said the remains had been in the wooded area for at least three years, and possibly as many as 10 years, before they were discovered by a tree trimming crew.
They have not determined whether the victim was killed in the woods or hidden there after he was slain.
“We don't know if it's a situation where locals could be involved in this persons demise or if it's a transient type of situation,” said Snell.
Items of interest were collected during recent secondary searches at the site, police said, but they did not reveal what was found.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call West Manchester police at 717-792-9514.