Skeleton of Man Missing for 27 Years Found in Bank Chimney

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When Joseph Schexnider disappeared in 1984, his mother thought he ran away. It turns out he was in his hometown all along — stuck in a bank’s chimney.

Construction workers discovered the skeletal remains in May during the renovation of a historic bank building in Abbeville, La. Lab tests identified the bones as belonging to Schexnider. He was 22 when he went missing and was wanted by police after failing to show up for a court hearing for possessing a stolen car.

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At the time, his mother thought he had skipped town to avoid arrest. She was used to his disappearances: he had left on his own several times before, including once when he joined a traveling circus.

No one will ever know why Schexnider was in the chimney. Abbeville police lieutenant David Hardy told CNN that the cause of death was likely dehydration and starvation, and foul play was not suspected. Schexnider might have been planning to rob the bank — gloves were found with the bones, along with a wallet, watch and cigarette lighter, but nothing more to suggest a burglary attempt.

But the chimney would not have led Schexnider into the bank. Its bottom opening is not large enough for someone to crawl through, and besides, it opens into a second-floor office area that has for decades mainly been used for storage. (via CNN)

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