Remains Found
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The human remains that were found over the weekend in Somerset County could be those of two missing men. State police public information officer Clifford Greenfield said at a morning news conference that authorities are looking into the possibility that the two bodies recovered were those of Damian Staniszewski of Duncansville and James Smith of Portage. "However that has not been confirmed." "At this time we do not have the gender of either. We are working diligently with Mercyhurst University officials to establish positive identities on the two individuals." Greenfield said the case is being treated as a homicide investigation. "It may take some time as we complete our investigation." Somerset County District Attorney Lisa Lazzari Strasiser said it could take 10 to 14 days to positively identify the remains. State police searched the woods for remains on Saturday along Ligonier Pike, about a mile west of Route 985 in Somerset County, after archery hunters found the bodies Friday afternoon about 20 yards off the road in the woods. The remains were found less than two miles from the spot where police earlier found a truck linked to the disappearance of the two missing men. Conemaugh Township police located a truck operated by Staniszewski on March 28 along Route 985. Staniszewski and Smith were reported missing by their families on March 28 and were reported as last being seen around 2 p.m. March 26 near Smith's residence on Prospect Street in Portage. Staniszewski and Smith have been missing and presumed dead since July. In April, a South Fork man was charged with not providing police with information on the whereabouts of the two missing men. Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said a $2,000 reward continues to be offered for information on the Staniszewski Smith case. Anyone with information is asked to call state police in Somerset at 814-445-4104 or in Ebensburg at 814-471-6500.