Discovery of skeleton leaves 1987 case open

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 23, 2001

The discovery of human remains at a Natchez gift shop leaves another case of remains found in 1987 near International Paper’s Natchez mill completely open, Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell said Monday.

A mason working on renovations to the second floor of the Riverboat Gift Shop Friday afternoon found a human skeleton near the top of the building’s chimney.

The remains are apparently those of Calvin Wilson, who was 27 and lived at 280 Green Acres Road near Vidalia when he disappeared in 1985. Wilson’s family identified the body from personal effects that were found with the skeleton.

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Investigation of dental records began Monday, but DNA testing may be necessary to confirm the identity of the remains, said Coroner James Lee.

A body behind the IP mill in February 1987 had tentatively been identified as Wilson’s body at that time, but that was never confirmed by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Ferrell said.

And Ferrell said that as of now, there is no way to determine whose remains were found near the mill.

Wilson &uot;was the only local missing person we had&uot;&160;at the time the remains were found near IP, Ferrell said.

Now that Wilson’s remains have apparently been found, &uot;until we get more leads, the (1987) case will remain open,&uot;&160;he added.

The human bones found in 1987 are still at the State Crime Lab in Jackson, and information on the remains is still in the national crime lab computer network.

&uot;As of now, the case is still pending,&uot; Ferrell said.

He added that since those remains were found near the Mississippi River, the bones found in 1987 could belong to someone who fell in the river far upstream.

On Saturday, Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said he does not think foul play was involved in the death of the body found in the chimney. Instead, Huff believes Wilson might have been trying to illegally enter the business and got stuck in the chimney.