Human bones identified

Marty Kufus

Human bones identified Last week brought a little good news for anyone who worried the discovery of bones south of La Vernia would end all hope that Patty Vaughan, missing since 1996, might still be alive. For members and friends of another family, though, the news was bad. The results of DNA testing indicated — with a “97.92-percent probability” — the skeletal remains were those of Glenn Herbert McBee of San Antonio, Wilson County officers said last week. The condition of the bones prevented the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office from determining the cause of death. The bones were found on property along F.M. 775 near the intersection of F.M. 3432. Hunters stumbled upon them while tracking a wounded deer. In the immediate area around the bones, authorities found remnants of clothing, a deteriorated tote bag, and a wallet that contained approximately $80 in badly deteriorated money — but no form of identification, officials said last week. Relatives said McBee had stopped carrying identification because he believed he was the target of a “government conspiracy,” and avoided people the last 10 to 15 years of his life, county Investigator Gary Laughlin said. In November 1999, a “makeshift camp” was discovered about 1.5 miles from where the bones eventually would be found. Deputies searched the camp and found ammunition-reloading equipment, hand tools, and some cheap knives, Laughlin said. Similar items — a few .38-caliber bullets, nail clippers, and hand tools — were found two years later in the deteriorated tote bag beside the bones, he said. McBee last was seen by family members in 1999 when he was 48. His last known address was in San Antonio, but he had distant relatives in the La Vernia area. Before DNA testing could be completed, though, some Wilson County residents speculated about the deceased person’s identity — and that it might be Vaughan, an Adkins-area housewife last seen Christmas Day 1996 near La Vernia. The sheriff’s department received several phone calls about the bones and Vaughan. Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr., said he never believed the DNA tests — which were conducted by the North Carolina firm, LabCorp of America — would show the bones were hers. Investigators had noticed a leg bone seemed too large to have come from a 120-pound woman who was 5 feet 5 inches tall. McBee’s last driver’s license, which expired in 1995, described him as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 200 pounds, Laughlin said. To identify the body, LabCorp technicians compared the DNA taken from the bones to a sample swab given by McBee’s mother. At one time, she lived in San Antonio but now resides in Louisiana, Laughlin said. There were no obvious signs of “foul play” at the site of the bones, officers reported. Laughlin last week said he believes, although cannot prove, that McBee got “real sick or hurt” and was trying to walk to the home of his distant relatives but never made it. His remains were to be sent to relatives in Louisiana. News Editor Marty Kufus contributed to this story. __________________________ Feel free to contact the Wilson County News regarding content or any other questions/concerns. E-mail reader@wcn-online.com, P.O. Box 115, Floresville, Texas 78114 830-216-4519, fax 830-393-3219



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