NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. (KSLA) — Human remains have been found near where authorities searched for a Natchitoches man who went missing seven months ago.
Deputies and volunteers searched by ground, air and water on three separate occasions early this year for 44-year-old Donnie Collins Jr., whose family reported him as missing Dec. 11.
“At this time, the remains discovered this afternoon have not been identified,” says a statement from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. “Laboratory analysis testing will have to be completed before a positive identification can be made.”
A logging crew made the discovery about 2:29 p.m. Thursday in a thickly wooded area off Johnson Chute Road about a mile west of Louisiana Highway 1 near Natchitoches, said Greg Dunn, chief of investigations for the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Assistant Coroner Steven Clanton said it appears the remains had been in the area for several months, the Sheriff’s Office reports.
Sheriff’s deputies and coroner’s office staffers combed the area for about two hours Thursday afternoon in search of any clues as to the person’s identity or the manner of that person’s death, said Doug Rachal, chief of patrols for the Sheriff’s Office.
The coroner’s office will take the remains to the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) lab in Baton Rouge for DNA analysis and further forensic testing in an attempt to identify them, authorities said.