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Officials Hope Lab Helps ID Body Parts From Sewer

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A firefighter prepares to be lowered into a sewer in Warren. (credit: WWJ/Pat Sweeting, File)

A firefighter prepares to be lowered into a sewer in Warren. (credit: WWJ/Pat Sweeting, File)

STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ/AP) - Officials hope DNA samples from tattooed chunks of human flesh discovered in a metro Detroit sewer last month will help them determine the identity of the person they came from.

Officials recently sent the samples to the University of North Texas, which has a DNA database of unidentified remains, The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reported.

Police say 10 body parts were found on a grate about 50 feet down the sewer on Aug. 15 by contractors clearing debris from a pipe along 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights.

Investigators say they don’t believe the parts had been in the sewer very long based on their condition. The body parts are believed to be from the same Caucasian person, although police aren’t sure if it the person is a male or female

Investigators have said the tattoo on the flesh appears to have been inked at least 15 to 20 years ago. A photo has been provided to the media. (View it here - Please note: Image at link shows actual human remains and may be disturbing). Anyone who may recognize this tattoo is asked to contact police.

Police say they have no leads, although they are hearing from people with tips. Investigators are also looking over missing persons reports in an attempt to identify the victim.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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