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Medical examiner IDs skeletal remains found off Goosley Rd in York County

Forensic investigators are at the scene off of Leigh Road in York County. Courtesy Shelley Ward/York Poquoson Sheriff's Office
Forensic investigators examine a location off Goosley Road where skeletal remains were found in York County. (Courtesy Shelley Ward/York Poquoson Sheriff’s Office)

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has identified skeletal remains found in May in the woods off Goosley Road in York County.

The remains have been identified as Michael Andrew Ellis, 26, of West Point, according to York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shelley Ward.

The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be suicide by hanging, although his exact date of death was not able to be determined, Ward said.

A passerby discovered the remains around 6:30 p.m. May 19 in the woods near Leigh and Goosley roads. Capt. Troy Lyons said portions of the remains were visible while others were covered by debris. Clothes were found nearby.

Lyons said May 20 the remains could have been in the woods for several years.

Ward confirmed the identification card found at the scene in May belonged to Ellis.

“DNA and evidence recovered at the scene, as well as follow up investigation, confirmed his identity,” Ward said.

Ward declined to say what other evidence was found at the scene.

Ward said Ellis was estranged from his family, who last heard from him in 2012. Police previously said the human remains were not believed to be connected to any known missing persons case.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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