ELYRIA — Skeletal remains found Thursday in a wooded area off Mussey Avenue are those of missing 19-year-old Tierra Bryant.
PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge
Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans said he received confirmation late Saturday afternoon that dental records and tattoos provided the final piece of proof investigators needed to make a positive identification.
“It’s difficult. That’s why it took us a while, but we have a forensic pathologist and he was able to pull the tattoos out of the decomposed material,” Evans said.
In June, Bryant’s suspected killer, Rashad Hunt, who is also known as Rashan, led police to the area where he said Bryant was buried, according to authorities.
After several failed attempts to find the remains, the FBI had a breakthrough Thursday when investigators noticed a spot where the top soil was different than the surrounding earth and uncovered the remains 4 feet below.
Bryant was last seen with Hunt, 30, in a Middleburg Heights hotel in March 2015. Police have said Bryant reportedly called for a ride from a friend, but when the friend arrived she never came out of the hotel and was reported missing the next day.
Authorities tracked down Hunt in California, where he was arrested and later charged with voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, offenses against a human corpse and obstructing official business.
Middleburg Heights Police Chief John Maddox said previously that Hunt could face additional charges if the remains turned out to be Bryant.
Hunt has ties to Elyria going to the late 1990s and has lived in the area sporadically. He spent about 11 years in prison for an attempted murder in Elyria.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson did not immediately return calls for comment.
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