Darwin Award Contender
The body of a man who went missing while apparently trying to escape police has been found inside a chimney – 27 years after he first disappeared.
Joseph Schexnider went missing in 1984 in Abbeville, Louisiana, after running away when police arrived at his house to arrest him.
The then 22-year-old had been due in court charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, but never appeared.
However, his body has since been found lodged in the chimney of Abbeville’s bank, 27 years after he first went missing.
Crews renovating the bank building discovered skeletal remains inside the chimney which have since been identified as missing Mr Schexnider.
Police believe Schexnider, who would have now been 49, died of dehydration after becoming trapped in the bank’s chimney.
It is thought his mother never reported him missing over the years as she knew he was wanted by police.
His family told police they did not report Schexnider missing because it was not uncommon for him to leave Abbeville without notice.
Authorities have been unable to determine exactly why he was in the chimney, although it has been reported that police think he may have been trying to break into the bank before getting stuck.
Mr Schexnider’s remains were found in May, but it was only this week that authorities finally managed to identify him.
Mary Manhein, Director of the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Lab, told katc.com: ‘We’ve not ever recovered one from a chimney before, that’s a little unusual, so this was the first type of recovery like that that we’ve ever done before.’
Abbeville Police Detective Lt. David Hardy said: ‘Hopefully this will give the family some closure. There’s no signs of foul play in this investigation, so as of now it’s going to be a closed case.
‘His mother is upset that she lost a son of course, but she is at ease that she now knows where her son is.’
Relatives told police they plan to hold a funeral for Schexnider once his remains are returned from the FACES Lab in Baton Rouge.