By Nathan Baker
Investigators returned Tuesday to a wooded area along Gap Creek Road in hopes of collecting additional evidence that could help them positively identify skeletal remains found by a Tennessee Department of Transportation survey crew last week.
Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said CCSD and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officers returned to the scene with a team of University of Tennessee forensic anthropologists after a comparison of dental records proved inconclusive.
Earlier this week, Mathes confirmed that the driver’s license of Zane Baxter Gervin II was found in a wallet with the body, but he said a positive identification of the body would have to wait until after an autopsy could be performed.
The sheriff said the 44-year-old Gervin is a “subject of interest” in the case and was reported missing, last seen in May.
On Tuesday, the group of investigators carefully sifted through the dirt at the site about 40 feet from Gap Creek Road to uncover any new information that might aid in the identification.
“The TBI and our deputies were able to scope the ridge line and look at things that were on top of the surface, gathering as much evidence as they possibly could,” Mathes said of the initial investigation. “The University of Tennessee was gracious enough to come up and help us and dig below the surface. We’re literally digging down and moving the leaves and everything back to dirt level and even somewhat below.”