Skeletal remains found Monday in a wooded area south of Pekin are "consistent" with those of a 13-year-old boy, the Tazewell County Sheriff's Department announced Tuesday.
However, more scientific tests than those conducted in an autopsy Tuesday morning are needed to determine if the remains are those of Robert Bee Jr. of Pekin.
County and Pekin police were awaiting the results of the autopsy that included a forensic dentist’s comparison of dental records of recently missing area people and the discovered remains, including a skull.
The autopsy, also involving a forensic pathologist, determined the general age of the person, a key along the path to learning whether the remains are that of Bee, 13, who has been missing for more than eight months.
Identification of the remains would have depend "on how confident (the dentist and pathologist) are in their findings,” Lower said Tuesday morning
In a news release following the autopsy, Lower said that, according county Coroner Jeff Baldi, "no positive identification can be made until DNA testing can be conducted."
That testing likely will require at least several weeks.
The sheriff's department scheduled a news conference for later Tuesday to further discuss the discovery of the remains.
The owner of a home at Woodford Drive and Illinois Route 29 discovered the first of the remains while mowing his yard along a line of deep woods Monday afternoon. He said the bones were not there the last time he mowed three weeks ago, Lower said.
The field and woods where the remains were found is behind a large chain-link fence and drive-through gate
Investigators cordoned the area off and eventually recovered an entire human skeleton in and along the woods across two properties, including one to the south of the man’s home at 14316 Illinois Route 29. Animals apparently have moved the remains, Lower said.
He said Monday morning that he had not yet learned whether any clothing or other identifying evidence also was found.
Bee ran from his home at 233 Sapp St., about two miles north of where the remains were found, on Nov. 17 when a truant officer came to take him to school. His mother reported him missing the next day.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin