Woman fears bodies found in Breathitt Co. could be family members

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Nearly two weeks after a man and woman were found burned to death in a car in eastern Kentucky, one Michigan woman said she believes they were her loved ones.

Sheryl Lessor said she cannot say goodbye because officials have not yet positively identified them.

Lessor said she believes her daughter Crystal Hufstetler and her husband Michael who have been missing since driving their relative to Kentucky were in that car which she said belonged to her.

“I am feeling ignored, I am feeling mad, I am feeling that justice is not being served,” said Lessor.

The grandmother said her grandchildren were going to start bereavement counseling to deal with the stress of knowing their parents would not be coming back home.

“We have had many sleepless nights since this,” said Lessor.

Officials said they cannot confirm the identities of two people found burned to death in a car in Breathitt County on that day.

“We have not had one since I have been in office that has been this hard to identify,” said Breathitt County Coroner George Griffith.
“It was just unbelievable, they were unbelievably charred.”

Lessor said the clues she had been given by Kentucky State Police indicated those were her loved ones. She said because it was an ongoing investigation, police are unable to give her as much information as she would like to have.

“It is a very, very hard situation to be in and then not to get answers, it sickens me,” said Lessor.

She said she is that certain her daughter and son-in-law died in South Fork on October 6th.

“I am feeling all kinds of emotions because of this,” said Lessor.

Griffith said he expected to have already been able to identify the man and the woman who were in that car at this point, but dental record examinations came back “consistent” but not “positive.” He said they have to rely on D.N.A. Results to answer that question.

Lessor said she does not need science to prove what she knows in her heart to be true.

“What my gut feeling tells me is that was my daughter and son in law in that car because they would have definitely called somebody back,” said Lessor.

Lessor said their three young children were staying with her and she knew they would not abandon them.

“They were good parents,” said Lessor.

Officials said they want to be certain before they positively identify the unknown victims.

“We are not trying to hold up anything, we are just trying to get it done,” said Griffith.”
“But it just takes time.”

Lessor said she just wanted to begin the healing process.

“I just feel that those two were loved by many people and they have a right to have services and have people get through their grieving stage as well as me and their children and other family members,” said Lessor.
She said she did not think the family or friends of her loved ones could move forward until they have the remains of the Crystal and Michael.

“Being from the South, usually before you have services, you have the person's remains with you that you are burying,” Lessor said.
“I am being told that for another eight weeks I can't do anything.”

Officials said only time will tell.

Griffith said he has been told it could take between two and four weeks before D.N.A. results could be returned.


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