HARTFORD - Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn is reporting Monday evening that a positive identification has been made on recently recovered skeletal remains through matching dental records. The deceased family has been notified and he is identified as 36-year-old Vernon L. Law.

Vernon Law

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Nonn first reported late last week about a coordinated investigation along with Hartford and Wood River Police Departments into the recovery of human skeletal remains on the property of the old Chemetco Industrial Plant, 3754 Chemetco Lane in Hartford. The remains were found Thursday afternoon and the coroner’s office responded to the scene at the request of the Hartford and Wood River Police Departments. Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit also responded and assisted in the search of the area.

The remains were confirmed to be human by Coroner’s Investigator Kelsey Jones and death was pronounced at 3:45 p.m. Clothing and other property were recovered. The skeletonized remains were discovered by a person who was doing aerial mapping of the property and promptly reported his finding to local law enforcement.

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Law was reported missing from the Wood River area in July 2022. A forensic anthropological examination was conducted Monday afternoon on the skeletal remains.

Nonn said preliminary results from the examination do not indicate any sign of trauma that would indicate foul play.

Wood River Police Chief Brad Wells released the following statement:

"We express sympathy to the family and friends of Vernon Law. Detective Sgt. Brent Rombach coordinated the investigation for the Wood River Police Department. We appreciate the assistance of those who helped the Wood River Police Department in the early stages of the investigation. We appreciate the work of the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit, Hartford Police Department, and Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn’s Office for bringing this case to a conclusion."

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