Skeletal human remains found on Swampscott beach
Officials seek ID; missing woman’s mother at scene
SWAMPSCOTT — A dog walker found skeletal human remains entwined in a lobster trap on King’s Beach in Swampscott on Wednesday morning, according to law enforcement officials.
“Those remains have been taken to the medical examiner’s office in Boston for further investigation and identification,” said Swampscott Police Detective Sergeant Timothy Cassidy, who declined to say if remains were partial or complete.
A spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that the dog walker found “body parts.”
“The body parts will be examined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for identification. It is too early to speculate as to possible identity,” said spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan.
The remains were found at about 8 a.m., said Cassidy.
State Police had their mobile crime unit on scene to help in the investigation.
A law enforcement official briefed on the case said the partial remains had been in the water for a while, but investigators are confident they can identify the person they belong to. The official said the water turbulance created by the blizzard contributed to the remains being washed up on shore.
On Wednesday afternoon, the mother of Jaimee Mendez, a 25-year-old Swampscott woman who has been missing since November, could be seen talking to officials, surrounded by supporters. She knelt on the hood of a car to watch as crime scene workers used a backhoe and a dumptruck to take the remains off the beach, and stood up as the dump truck drove off the beach and down the street.
The official said the Mendez missing person case is one possibility investigators will look at in trying to identify the remains, but it is too early to say whether it is linked to the case.
Her family has said they believe Mendez, who is diabetic and did not have insulin with her, is dead. They have said she was last heard from when she called two friends asking them to pick her up, saying she was with a sex offender and he was making her nervous.
A cellphone and clothing believed to be hers were found on Technology Way in Salem, and sneakers believed to be hers were found in a CVS dumpster in Lynn, just blocks from the sex offender’s home, according to her family and authorities.
The Globe is not naming the sex offender because he has not been charged with a crime.
On Wednesday, Mendez’s mother and supporters declined to comment. State and local police launched major searches for Mendez after her disappearance, and her family has maintained Facebook pages to coordinate their own search efforts and outreach.
On Jan. 18, Mendez’s sister wrote a post asking for people to use the mild weather and go out to look around.
“Even though we all have searched so many places already there is always the chance that we missed something,” she wrote. “I want to make sure my mom knows people haven’t forgotten.”