Bones found at construction site last summer finally identified

by Shannon O’Hara

The bones found at a construction site in Providence last summer were finally identified earlier this afternoon.

Providence Police department and The Rhode Island Department of Health’s Office of State Medical Examiners identified the body as Providence resident, Phillip P. Seals.

The bones were discovered in July of last year, after construction workers tore up the basement floor of an old mill and found the remains.

The victim, Phillip P. Seals, was born on May 31st, 1936.  He graduated from Garnet High School in Charleston, West Virginia, but spent time in the south and east side of Providence, as well as Hartford. 

Besides minor misdemeanors, he has no profound criminal record.

Seals was last seen in February of 1982.

The bones were identified through DNA testing done by University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, set up by the Department of Justice.

Besides a fracture to his lower right leg, the bone remains were complete, showing no sign of profound trauma.

Providence police confirmed his identification by obtaining specimen through a mouth swab from a known relative.  His bone remains will be released to next of kin.

Along with bones, investigators also found an ID badge from Rhode Island Hospital, a coat with a fur collar and a bullet at the scene of the construction site.

There is no known connection between Seals and the building he was buried in, nor with the Rhode Island Hospital.

Police say they are following leads on this investigation, but failed to give out specific names.

The cause of death is still undetermined and this is an ongoing homicide investigation. 

If anyone has any other information, please contact Detective Emilio Matos at (401) 243-6306.

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