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Police trying to identify 2 bodies found in woods

Law enforcement announced Monday that they are working with Mercyhurst University to identify two bodies.

Human remains were found Friday about 20 yards from Ligonier Pike near Menoher Swim Club in Somerset County, according to state police.

Damian Michael Staniszewski, 19, of Duncansville, and James Edward Smith, 32, of Portage, might have been the two people found, law enforcement said at a press conference, but the identities have not been confirmed. They were last seen March 26 near Smith’s Prospect Street home in Portage and were reported missing two days later.

The human remains were found by hunters who were checking on there tree stands. The bodies were discovered near where the vehicle they were traveling in was found.

There are “facts pointing to similarities” between the missing bodies and the location of Staniszewski’s vehicle, but investigators said positive identifications might not be made for about two weeks.

Somerset and Cambria county law enforcement officials are working with state police to identify the bodies and are treating the case as a homicide investigation. Law enforcement officials said they do not yet know if the bodies are male or female.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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