Investigators confirm remains found in west Lubbock last week are those of Roger Scott Dunn, who went missing more than two decades ago.
"We had identified the remains as those of Roger Scott Dunn, 24-year-old male, who had been missing since 1991," Lubbock County Medical Examiner Dr. Shridhar Natarajan said. The murder took place 21 years ago next week. It was quite an unexpected discovery to maintenance workers when the found human remains as they were digging a sewer line.
The bones were buried in a foot-deep grave just yards away from where Dunn lived, and was believed to have been murdered.
"The remains, the way they were placed helped us," Natarajan said.
Natarjan said they were partially wrapped in a blanket, a sheet and vinyl from a water-bed. Old fashioned detective work led the County Medical Examiner to Dunn's identity.
"We didn't go to DNA because it is time consuming process," he said. "We didn't need to do all of that. We spent some great amount of time evaluating the teeth, the dental structure."
A forensic evaluation led the Medical Examiner to Dunn's cause of death. He had sustained several head injuries.
"The cause of death is homicidal violence with blunt force trauma," he said. "The manner of death a homicide."
The Dunn family will get Scott's remains in several weeks.
Dunn's girlfriend, Leisha Hamilton, was convicted of his murder even though a body was never found. She's serving a 20-year sentenced. District Attorney Matt Powell said his office will continue to fight any appeals efforts.
A statement was read on behalf of Sue Dunn, the victim's mother.
"Scott's brother Tony and I have struggled to accept Scott's death over these past many years. The recovery of his remains is finally bringing us a piece of mind knowing that we will finally be able to bring him to his final resting place.
"This means more to us than words will ever express. I was never sure this day would come but we were always grateful to the entire Lubbock Police Department."
A statement was also read on behalf of James Dunn, Scott's father. "After 21 years of heartache the moment of truth has finally come for the Dunn family."
"Tremendous credit goes out to all those who fought for justice and kept Scott in their prayers. Today those prayers have been answered and Scott can be laid to rest. It appears now with certainty that two people knew precisely where Scott's body was hidden and lied to try to protect themselves.
"Those murder convictions gave some justice for Scott and his family. No matter what, all I ever wanted was to find Scott's remains, to give him a proper burial and to find some closure for the family. Now, in time, we hope to do just that."