LSU forensic anthropologist Mary Manhein and her team surveyed a wooded area in Clayton on Tuesday in search of human remains, but found none.

Manhein, known as "The Bone Lady," also searched an area where the skull of a black male or Native American was found in 2002 and is attempting to determine if it is the remains of Joseph "Joe-Ed" Edwards, who went missing in July 1964 in Concordia Parish and was believed to have been murdered by the Ku Klux Klan.

ABC News correspondent John Donvan and producer Maggie Burbank followed Manhein to Clayton as they prepare a show on The Bone Lady to be aired on Nightline in a few days.

Work to extract nuclear DNA from the skull has thus far been unsuccessful, said Manhein, despite two attempts. She said work will now begin to see if mitochondrial DNA can be obtained.

She said the skull found in Clayton is missing its lower jaw and has a small hole in the forehead.

Manhein's lab at LSU is the central repository for unidentified human remains and missing person data in Louisiana. She is director of the facility known as FACES -- the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement.

A few months ago, FACES personnel took a DNA sample from Joe-Ed Edwards' sister -- Julia Dobbins of Bridge City, La. If DNA can be extracted from the skull, that sample can be matched against the sample taken from Dobbins, said Manhein.

Captain Frankie Carroll of the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office was with the Manhein team throughout the day.

Janis McDonald of Syracuse University School of Law in New York was also in Clayton on Tuesday. She and Paula Johnson, both professors at the school, are the founders of Cold Case Justice Initiative, which is dedicated to the resolution of unsolved Civil Rights-era murders.

Edwards, 25-years-old when he went missing on July 13, 1964, lived with his grandparents on Hwy. 900 (Red Gum Road), about three to four miles from where the skull was found in Clayton in 2002. Edwards was last seen by a kitchen employee at the Shamrock Motel cafe in Vidalia in July 1964, where Edwards worked as a handyman and porter.

His two-toned blue and beige 1958 Buick, with bloodstains inside, was discovered along the Ferriday-Vidalia Hwy. near the old bowling alley at a point about eight miles from Clayton.

Weeks after his disappearance in 1964, Edwards' mother, now deceased, told the FBI in Natchez that the Klan had kidnapped and likely murdered her son.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.