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New details released on remains found in Portland

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released images of the shirt worn by a woman discovered in September 2021 in the town of Portland.

New information regarding the still-unidentified remains of a woman discovered more than a year ago in the town of Portland has been released by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, the department said the victim had been buried near a trail off Woleben Road in Portland since 2011 “or earlier.” Sheriff James Quattrone previously has said the body was estimated to have been in the ground for “decades.”

Photographs of the clothes worn by the woman also were released.

The woman was discovered by hikers Sept. 26, 2021, in a shallow grave about 6 inches deep. The following day, another set of remains were found, and later identified as Marquita Mull, a Buffalo woman previously reported missing.

For the first time, the Sheriff’s Office has described the unidentified female victim as being between 15 and 35 years old and between 4 feet, 11 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches. Using dental records, police already have determined that the woman is not Lori Ceci Bova or Corrie Anderson — two Chautauqua County women reported missing and who have not been found.

The clothes worn by the unidentified woman, the department said based on research, indicate they were first sold in the early 1990s. She was recovered in a striped shirt made by Jacque & KoKo

“The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is looking for anyone who can recognize the clothing or has any knowledge of a missing person who might have been wearing this clothing,” the department said.

Shortly after the discovery, Sheriff James Quattrone said a portion of the skeletal remains would be sent to the New York State Crime Lab in Albany for DNA testing.

Mull’s body was found in some thick brush off the Rails to Trails hiking area — a day after a hiker found what they believed was a human skull and resulted in the discovery of human remains. When investigators were conducting a grid search for other evidence, they came across Mull’s body 10 yards from the spot where the first person was buried.

Unlike the first body, Quattrone said at a press conference that no attempt was made to bury Mull’s body.

Mull was last seen on June 25, 2021, in Erie County and was reported missing to authorities the following month.

“Even though she had her issues, she was a great person,” Mull’s sister, Wendy, told The Post-Journal in an interview. “I loved her with all my heart. She was just so sweet, and when she died, my heart died.”

Because Mull was a resident of Erie County, the Sheriff’s Office said it’s possible the “unidentified person may also be from the Erie County area in New York.”

Anyone with information on Mull’s disappearance or the unidentified woman is asked to call investigator Jacob Stahley at 716-753-4973 or send an email to UnsolvedChautauqua@sheriff.us.

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