PRINCETON — Human remains have been discovered in the southeastern area of Mercer County, officials with the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment confirmed Monday morning.

Initial remains were discovered around 7 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement by First Sgt. J.K. Cooper, district commander of the Princeton and Welch detachments.

“As of this date a continued search of the area has resulted in more human remains located in the area by search teams,” Cooper said.

A State Police official said a variety of search methods are being utilized, including cadaver dogs.

The recovered remains have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for identification.

“At this time an identity or gender is unknown,” Cooper said.

The southeastern area of Mercer County includes the Oakvale, Willowton and Elgood areas, and borders Giles County, Va.

Cooper said the incident remains under investigation by the State Police and Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

— Contact Samantha Perry at

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