WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Man and grandson find human remains in Harlan County

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

A man and his grandson find human remains while riding their ATV just outside of Cumberland Monday night.

Bruce Hatfield says that he and his grandson ride through that area all the time, but he didn't sleep last night because of what he saw.

It was just a summer evening ride near Highway 119.

"We decided to go back up the hill, drove through the high grass, had the dog with us," Hatfield said.

Hatfield and his six year old grandson headed up a strip mine Monday night.

"I looked beside of me and the smell, I began to smell it. Looked beside me and there was a body laying there," Hatfield said.

Before he knew it, he was in the middle of a crime scene and trying to make sure his grandson didn't see the worst of it.

"I was kind of in shock, but I was trying to hide his face from seeing it," he said.

The remains were badly decomposed. Authorities couldn't tell if they were male or female.

"We're hoping to have some information within the next day or two to possibly identify the subject and relay on to the families if it's one of their loved ones," said Shane Jacobs with the Kentucky State Police.

Two families with two missing people - Robert Hoskins of Bledsoe has been missing for almost a month, and James Feltner of Lynch has been missing for more than a week.

"Maybe this will bring some relief to them," Hatfield said.

But the wait will continue as the body will be sent to Frankfort for an autopsy.

We were unable to get in touch with the family of Robert Hoskins Tuesday. We did speak with the Feltner family by phone. They tell us they are devastated and have a bad feeling.


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