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Driver's license found near skeletal remains

Oct. 27, 2012 @ 12:05 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Investigators need the public's help in locating an Ona man while they continue efforts to identify human remains found this past weekend along Wire Branch Road.

The Cabell County Sheriff's Office issued a press release Friday saying those remains were still unidentified at the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Investigators searched for two days without locating a complete skeleton. However, one item they did find was a driver's license for a Michael Whittier Rigdon of Ona, the release states.

Sheriff Tom McComas estimates Rigdon to be in his early 50s. Investigators have visited Rigdon's listed address and talked to known family members to no avail. Anyone with information about Rigdon or his whereabouts should contact the Sheriff's Office at 304-743-1594.

"It's still very much a mystery," McComas said. "We don't know if (Rigdon) met with foul play, we don't know if those remains are his, we don't know if he left and just hasn't bothered to tell anybody where he is. Those are all good questions."

Investigators have no timeline for when those questions might be answered.

The investigation started midday Sunday along Wire Branch Road, where a man walking on family property noticed a human skull. Detectives believe weather conditions and animal activity had disturbed the scene, according to Friday's release.

McComas said investigators have reached out to Rigdon's family. They were unsure of his whereabouts and as to why his identification would have been found in proximity to the human remains.

The sheriff confirmed that others lived at Rigdon's listed address in Ona. He declined comment when asked to disclose a specific address and the relationship those living at the residence had with Rigdon.

"We in law enforcement as well would wonder why somebody didn't report him missing, if in fact he is missing," McComas said. "Based upon some information we have obtained, he potentially had lived at another location or two. That's why we're not being specific."

Three detectives within the Sheriff's Office remain assigned to the case, along with FBI agents and other resources. Their efforts shifted from a ground search to evaluation Monday night based upon a belief they had exhausted all possible areas at the discovery site.