Saturday, December 29, 2007

Joey Offutt: Possible remains; house to be destroyed

Update - 1/18/08 - It is now believed that the remains are probably not Joey's. See for more details.
Another article ( says that the body has probably been there for six months, which would be the right amount of time if it is Joey. I wonder how long it will take to identify the body.

Article from

Published: December 28, 2007 11:33 pm
Body found may be tied to fatal fire
The Tribune-Democrat
SOMERSET — State police are investigating whether
skeletal remains found Wednesday are those of a Jefferson Township woman missing
since her infant son was killed in a house fire six months ago.
Authorities believe the remains belong to a petite, brown-haired woman
between 30 and 40 years old who died during the summer. Evidence discovered at
the scene suggests she had spent time in Raleigh, N.C., and on Interstate
Meanwhile, the Somerset County coroner said foul play might not be involved
in the death.
The description of the body bears a resemblance to Joey Lynn Offutt, 33, of
Sykesville, a Jefferson County town close to Interstate 80 and Route 219, which
passes through Somerset. Offutt is 5-foot-3, weighs 110 pounds and has brown
She has been missing since July 12, after a fire destroyed her house and
killed her 6-week-old son. Her car, bearing a Virginia license plate, was
discovered shortly afterward in State College.
Sgt. Frank Wolbert, commanding officer of the DuBois state police barracks,
said investigators have been in contact with state police in Somerset.
“There are a lot of similarities. But there are a few things that look like
it’s not her, also,” Wolbert said Friday.
As the remains are being studied by a forensic anthropologist in Erie,
Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said early indications are that no foul
play was involved in her death.
But her body was so decomposed, Miller said authorities are unable to
conduct toxicology tests on the remains to determine if drugs or alcohol were
“The way the body was positioned, there wasn’t any indication of a
struggle,” Miller said, declining to elaborate.
State police Cpl. Jeffrey Doman of Somerset said authorities are pressing
to ID the deceased, who was discovered Wednesday afternoon near the Somerset
Industrial Park.
“We have several leads we’re following up on, but nothing concrete yet,”
Doman said.
A nearby resident found the remains Wednesday evening as he was walking on
private property about 50 yards from Industrial Park Road in Somerset Township.
The woods are near the turnpike and end of four-lane Route 219.
Police said evidence found at the scene suggests the woman may have spent
time in Raleigh, N.C., while also traveling on Interstate 80. Authorities have
not disclosed what evidence was discovered, though a source said a faded
prescription bottle provided the link to Raleigh.
The remains are being studied by Dennis Dirkmaat, director of the Applied
Forensic Sciences Department at Mercyhurst College in Erie.
Authorities said the woman was wearing a thin black jacket, white shirt,
black denim jeans and sneakers similar to deck shoes.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact the state police:

(The area code for the above number is 814.)
Joey also made the news a couple days earlier for a different reason. From
Joey Lynn Offutt's House To Be Torn Down Soon
POSTED: 3:40 pm EST December
26, 2007
UPDATED: 4:12 pm EST December 26, 2007

SYKESVILLE, Pa. -- Back in November, Channel Six News
reported that Joey Lynn Offutt's house could be torn down by the end of this
year, to make way for a church parking lot.
While it may not be razed by the
end of the year, church officials said the house will be coming down soon.
They added that a demolition company will come to tear down the house when
the weather cooperates.
In July, fire severely damaged the house and Joey
Lynn Offutt disappeared.
While investigating the fire, police found a dead
baby in a bathtub.
That baby has never been identified.
Church officials
said that very few people in Sykesville knew Offutt, but her disappearance has
affected residents.
"They have a lot of questions about what happened," said
Father John Mihalco. "But we trust the police are investigating as best as they

Joey's website:

Joey's poster:

Photo of Joey from her website.

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