DREHER TOWNSHIP, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A developing story out of Wayne County where human remains were discovered earlier Wednesday. The remains may be linked to a missing persons case from more than a decade ago.
State police, detectives, and anthropologists lined Peet Road in Dreher Township after remains were found buried in a yard.
Law enforcement said they were on the property searching for the remains of Stephen Lepore who went missing in 2012.
“I made a call and found out, that some missing person might be buried in a neighbor’s backyard,” said Dreher Township resident Judith Smyth-Helbig.
Human remains were found buried in the backyard of 95 Peet Road in Dreher Township on Wednesday, potentially bringing crucial evidence to a cold case from over a decade ago.
The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office was tipped off and they soon obtained a search warrant for the property.
“We were provided specific information to come to this location to look for remains. A cadaver dog alerted to a specific area here on the property where we believed we would find remains,” said Monroe County District Attorney’s Office Detective Craig Vanlouvender.
Anthropologists from Mercyhurst University excavated the area and confirmed the findings. The identity of the victim is not known at this time, but detectives believe it may be that of Stephen Lepore.
“It relates to a 2012 missing person investigation out of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department,” said Detective Robert Sebastianelli of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.
Lepore went missing in August of 2012 after reportedly being involved in several disputes over money. Detectives said they do not believe there is any danger to the public at this time.
“This is something that occurred, we believe, back in 2012 that has been followed up — we’ve been following up since then,” said Detective Sebastianelli.
But Dreher Township remains on edge. As the investigation continues, neighbors are left feeling very uneasy that anything like this could happen in their quiet community.
“Something like this is so unexpected and so unnerving, I can tell you now I’m still shaking,” Smyth-Helbig expressed.
Smyth-Helbig has lived on Peet Road for 33 years and says nothing like this has ever happened in the small town.
“Even though it was done 11 or 12 years ago, just the thought of it can happen. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. The most exciting thing that happens here is the cow gets loose up the road,” Smyth-Helbig explained.
As mentioned, the identity of the remains has not yet been confirmed.
This is a developing story that 28/22 News will continue to follow and we will provide updates as they become available.