Body buried in SC still unidentified

Michael Hamilton

A missing woman, a hasty burial, and discovered remains don’t necessary add up to murder, although the case is still open.

That’s what happened in July, when Michael S. Hamilton admitted to burying his grandmother in eastern Shelby County, although he contends the woman was already dead when he found her. It isn’t clear why he decided to bury her instead of call authorities.

The woman and Hamilton both lived in Frankfort. Hamilton faces a charge of abuse of a corpse.

Unidentified

The woman’s name isn’t being released yet due to problems confirming her identity from skeletal remains, even though Hamilton confessed to burying his grandmother.

When the body was exhumed from a Shelby County farm on Lebanon Ridge Road, the remains were in poor condition and were sent to the Louisville Medical Examiner’s office.

“Frankfort Police took a report from family of a missing person,” said Jeff Ivers, Shelby County coroner. She had been missing since April.

Investigation

During the investigation, FPD spoke to several people, including Hamilton.

After speaking with Hamilton, his girlfriend called police. “He told her he had found her deceased and took her to eastern Shelby County and buried her on a farm there,” Ivers said.

A search warrant was conducted for the farm and the woman’s residence in Frankfort.

“DNA from evidence from the woman’s house and DNA from the family were taken,” he said, and then sent to the state forensics lab.

Direction

Hamilton was in Hardin County custody at the time, but he gave a general direction of a female buried on a farm. Officials contacted the Jefferson County coroner’s office July 8 to get several cadaver dogs to find the grave.

“They located her in 20 minutes,” the coroner said.

The body was taken to the Louisville Medical Examiner’s office in Jefferson County, however, she has not been positively identified.

Remains

Patience is a virtue and what is needed when law enforcement discover unidentified remains, buried for months without preparation.

From the Louisville coroner’s office, the skeletal remains went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to the anthropology department to do research on injuries and DNA analysis to positively identify the deceased.

When testing is complete, Ivers will pick the body up there, as he transported there for the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s office.

“It’s been there almost two months. We don’t know whether there was foul play. We’re still waiting.”

Hamilton was indicted by a grand jury in August or September for the current charge.