Human Remains Identified
On September 26, 2009, The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding possible human remains being discovered in the Allegany Reservoir off the West Perimeter Road near Bone Run Road, Town of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York.
The scene was processed and the remains were collected along with other evidence. The evidence was submitted to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York for examination along with the remains and clothing found at the scene. Forensic lab tests on the remains resulted in a partial DNA profile. Also a forensic odontological exam developed a dental profile.
The remains were further examined at the Forensic Anthropology Center at MercyHurst College in Erie, PA.
During April of 2011, the remains were further submitted to the Department of Forensic Biology, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City, New York, for a more detailed DNA analysis. This exam resulted in a suitable DNA profile being obtained.
One of the many leads that Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Detectives followed up on was a missing female from Salamanca, New York, that had not been seen in awhile. Detectives’ located the missing woman’s relatives and obtained a DNA from the family and submitted to the lab for analysis which resulted in a match.
The missing woman was identified as Traci Douglass, 45, of 59 Main Street, Salamanca, New York. Ms. Douglass was last seen in Salamanca, New York around January 2007. The case is being investigated as suspicious circumstances and the cause of death is yet to be determined and is pending. The Sheriff’s Detectives are being assisted by the FBI, Jamestown Office.
Sheriff Whitcomb is continuing to urge the community to call with any information they may have in regards to this case. Anyone with information can call Detective William Welling at 716-938-2276, all calls will be handled confidentially.