Local News

Family Awaits Word on Whether Man's Remains Found

Posted August 6, 2007 7:15 p.m. EDT

— William Lee Allen disappeared in Granville County a year ago, but his family is still waiting to learn whether human remains found near where he was last seen were his.

Allen went missing last August after he was discharged from the Granville Medical Center. In March, police discovered human remains nearby, behind the Masonic Children's Home in Oxford.

Since then, the family has waited for lab results to determine if the remains are Allen's.

"It's been right rough, not knowing if he's alive or dead," said Odessa Person, Allen's sister.

The remains have been shipped to a specialized lab at the University of North Texas, one of three crime labs in the country that specialize in human identification from DNA.

The test results aren't expected for at least another six months.

"Old remains are just more difficult from a forensic standpoint to identify, so I'm not really surprised it's taking this long," Oxford Police Chief John Wolford said.

Family members said they have put off holding a funeral until they know for sure what happened. Some said they don't believe the remains belong to Allen.

"From the stuff they brought down to show us, like the tennis shoe, the watch and the belt, it didn't look like none of the stuff that he wore from home," said Ruben Allen Jr., Allen's brother. "I want closure of this. I want to know what happened and where he's at, really, because he's been gone too long for this."