The mystery of the found bone fragment

May 23, 2013

RIVERTON TWP. — A Michigan State University forensic anthropologist continues to investigate the human skull fragment found last Friday in Riverton Township. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office announced today that only the fragment, one of 12 bones found on Morton Road near Chauvez Road, is human. The fragment was delivered to Michigan State by a detective Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office reported that no tissue was left on the fragment. Earlier this week Sheriff Kim Cole said the fragment was not from a child and he did not know the age.

So who does it belong to? Is it even from a missing person?

The only missing person case open in Mason County is Katherine Phillips, who, at age 4-months, disappeared on June 29, 2011. Cole said the fragment, since it is too big to be that of a child’s, is definitely not Katherine Phillips, also known as “Baby Kate.” Katherine’s father, Sean Phillips, is currently serving a maximum 15-year prison sentence for unlawful imprisonment of the child. Local law enforcement is openly investigating the case as a murder.

There are a total of 249 missing people from Michigan listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a database that contains missing persons from around the country; 128 are women, 121 are men and 52 were children when they went missing.

Within a 100 mile radius, including Phillips, there are 14 people listed on the database. They include (age listed is when disappeared):

– Jessica L. Heeringa, white female, 25, who disappeared on April 26, 2013 from a Norton Shores gas station.

– Latrice R. Maze, black female, 26, March 19, 2013 from Grand Rapids.

– Frederic D. Byrne, white male, 49, disappeared on Feb. 12, 2013 from Holland.

– Martha Lemus, race not listed, 15, March 30, 2012, Grand Rapids.

– DeNeka D. Walker, black female, 30, Aug. 13, 2010 from Muskegon.

– Jacob Cabinaw, Native American, 31, March 31, 2010 from Traverse City.

– Janee N. Ashley, black female, 15, Jan. 16, 2004, Grand Rapids

– Kevin E. Russell, black male, 39, May 5, 1997, Grand Rapids

– Shannon Verhage, white female, 1, June 3, 1997 from Cedar Springs.

– Jahzeel Coolazo-Rios, white female, 19, Oct. 4, 1999, Grand Rapids

– Fonda Lockridge, black female, 26, June 15, 1995, Grand Rapids

– Robert J. Allen, white male, 53, May 1, 1995, Grand Rapids

– Gordon T. Page, Jr., white male, 28, May 26, 1991, Grand Rapids

– Dolores Nussbaumer, white female, 73, May 10, 1989, Grand Rapids

– Martha L. Hardin, black female, 35, July 1, 1985 from Muskegon Heights

– Kathleen Bennett, white female, 23, July 13, 1984, Grand Rapids

– Richard L. Atwood, white male, 25, Aug. 23, 1983, White Cloud

– Dean M. Pyle Peters, white female, Feb. 5, 1981, Grand Rapids

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