WEST OCEAN CITY — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office late Sunday recovered badly decomposed human remains from a ditch in a marshy area in South Point in the same general area where a local woman went missing last Memorial Day.
Somewhere around 6-6:30 p.m. on Sunday, a waterman working in the area of South Point discovered the mostly submerged and badly decomposed remains in a mosquito ditch in a marshy area and contacted the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded a short time later and began the process of recovering the remains. The remains were collected and transported to Office of the State Medical Examiner for positive identification, a process that could take as many as three weeks.
While it is far too early to speculate on the identification, certain elements of the discovery and recovery of the remains suggest a possible connection to Helen Stephanie David, 77, who went missing near her South Point residence on Carefree Lane last May 27. Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer/Lieutenant Ed Schreier said on Monday the remains were in female clothing and were discovered in the same general area where David went missing last Memorial Day weekend. Schreier also said the rate of decomposition was consistent with the time frame of David’s disappearance.
“We can’t say for sure at this point if it is her,” he said. “It’s a fluid situation right now and we’re trying to get as much of the remains as we can and close off the area and collect as much as we can.”
Shortly after midnight last May 28, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office received a missing persons report on David from her son, who said she was last seen by family members around 3 p.m. the day before on May 27. In the days and weeks that followed, an extensive search was conducted on the South Point area and along the Route 611 corridor on the ground, by air and in the water and marshes to no avail. At the height of the search effort, local law enforcement agencies were assisted by the Civil Air Patrol and search and rescue teams from as far away as the western shore, and by an army of citizen volunteers who combed the woods and properties around South Point by flashlight.