Skeletal remains identified

The Chester County Coroner’s Office has positively identified the skeletal remains found in Caln Township in March 2017 as those of Barbara Keenan of Marcus Hook. The results of a forensic DNA analysis performed by the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification were received on Jan. 8 and provided the basis for this definitive identification.

Chester County Coroner Dr. Christina VandePol said, “This DNA identification finally allows closure for Ms. Keenan’s family, which has been notified of these findings. Although forensic DNA testing is complex and takes time, it leaves no doubt as to identity. With current DNA identification techniques using [short tandem repeats] and mitochondrial DNA analysis, scientists can determine identity with extreme precision even in difficult situations like this.”

A presumptive identification of the remains as those of Keenan, 52, was made by Caln Police and the Chester County Coroner’s Office on March 25, 2017. Information released at that time by Caln Police noted that Keenan had last been seen in Caln when she was discharged from Brandywine Hospital on July 9, 2016.

Prior to DNA testing, a forensic anthropological examination was performed by Dr. Dennis C. Dirkmaat of the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory at Mercyhurst University in Erie. The examination did not reveal any suspicious findings. The Chester County Coroner’s Office stated that in the absence of further information the cause and manner of death remain undetermined.

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