PORTLAND – Chautauqua County’s Sheriff is hopeful his department can bring closure to at least one of several decades old cold cases, this after two sets of human remains were found in Portland.
The remains were found 30-yards from the roadway, and 10-yards apart along the “rails to trail” area at Woleben Road on Sunday and Monday respectively.
Sheriff Jim Quattrone suspects foul play, and is unsure at this moment if the cases are connected other than being in the same location. With that in mind, he believes the first set of remains could be Patricia Limerhardt who went missing from Westfield.
“We’re looking at that case because of the close proximity within, you know, 10 miles in the time frame, but we haven’t ruled out any of the other missing person’s cases,” says Quattrone. “Specifically Lori Bova or Corey Anderson, we have their dental records so we are looking at those and doing a comparison, and we also have DNA from Patricia, that we’re going to be doing a comparison.”
The three cases in question are decades apart, with Laemmerhirt first reported missing in 1976, Bova in 1997 and Anderson in 2008.
The County Forensic Investigation Team is working with the Mercyhurst Forensic Anthropology Department. At this point, the remains found Sunday is likely decades old with the set discovered Monday “more recent.”
“Closure is important, we want to keep hope that people are still alive, but closure for families would be good to have and we’re going to continue to work hard at that,” says Quattrone. “We have been working with the DA’s office lately and trying to develop an unsolved case squad utilizing some retired investigators as well as current investigators to follow up on some of our unsolved cases.”
The police activity in Portland has since subsided, with Sheriff Quattrone telling us investigators are now waiting on results from the college’s evaluation.