Human bones dug up at site of accused killer's former home

MINERVA - State police investigators have dug up human remains at the former home site of Thomas A. Collard who is accused of murdering his wife in 1980, authorities said.

State police are now awaiting results of an autopsy and DNA testing to see if the bones belong to June Collard who's been missing since that year, state police authorities said.

The initial results of the autopsy, now being conducted by the Albany Medical Center, are expected to be released late Thursday Aug. 12, state Police Lt. Brent Davison said.

"We are awaiting results, and as soon as we get them, we'll be sending portions of the remains to a forensic identification center for DNA analysis," he said.

After six full days of digging at the site of the former home of Thomas Collard at 76 Wilson Rd. in Olmstedville, state police investigators unearthed bones Tuesday morning that were subsequently identified as human remains by an anthropologist, Davison said.

State police have not yet revealed the number or type of bones or exactly where they were dug up at the site. While police said that femur bones or teeth would likely yield the best DNA evidence, they declined to say whether they'd unearthed either type of specimen.

A source close to the investigation said the bones were located behind where the Collard's trailer once stood.

Davison said a minimum of 12 state Police investigators had been on home site since Aug. 4 searching for human remains, and the scene continued to be secured under 24-hour guard.

Thomas Anthony Collard, 62, has been charged with second degree murder in the case, after he was questioned and arrested several weeks ago in Alabama.

When questioned by state Police investigators, Collard allegedly confessed to causing the death of June Collard, describing in detail how he had disposed of her body.

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