Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone

Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone holds a news conference Thursday regarding two bodies found in late September in the town of Portland.

MAYVILLE (TNS) — Authorities have identified one of two sets of human remains found near a public trail in Chautauqua County’s town of Portland in late September.

They also believe foul play was involved in both cases, but they cannot say for sure at this point whether the two cases are related, Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone said at a news conference Thursday.

He said both bodies were disposed of at the site on purpose, and that the two victims had not be on the trail for recreational purposes.

”These were not hikers,” Quattrone said.

The second set of remains are those of Marquita Mull, 50, of Buffalo, who was last seen on June 25 and was reported missing on July 18, Quattrone said.

He said the authorities have not yet identified the first set of remains, discovered Sept. 26. Those remains date back several decades, and authorities have ruled out linking them to two missing persons from that time frame, Quattrone said.

He said those missing persons are Lori Ceci Bova, 26, who went missing from the Lakewood area on June 8, 1997, and Corrie Anderson, 36, a mother of three who went missing in 2008.

Quattrone said authorities cannot rule out that the first set of remains are those of a woman named Patricia Laemmerhirt, 28, who went missing from Westfield in 1976.

Authorities are attempting to locate dental and other medical records that could help in the investigation, Quattrone said. He said the remains will be sent to a state police lab in Albany for DNA analysis.

Both sets of remains were found near the Chautauqua Rails to Trails off Woleben Road in the town of Portland, northeast of Westfield. A hiker found the first set of remains in a shallow grave on Sept. 26, Quattrone said. The second set of remains were found shortly thereafter during a search of the area where the first remains were discovered, authorities said.

The second set of remains were found roughly 10 yards away from the first set of remains. Some of the areas along the trail are thick with overgrowth.

Though the first set of remains were found in a shallow grave, whoever disposed of Mull’s remains “made no attempt at burial,” Quattrone said. He said Mull had no connection to the area, and that she had gone missing from the Broadway- Fillmore area of Buffalo, on the city’s lower east side.

Authorities have not yet determined the cause of Mull’s death, Quattrone said.

The FBI assisted in the investigation, as did the applied forensic services department at Mercyhurst University in Erie. The department analyzed the remains.

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