Vermilion

Jul 26, 2011 11:25 AM by Kate Durio

Man Found Inside Chimney Identified After 27 Years

The remains found in an Abbeville bank have been identified. Joseph Schexnider was found with gloves, cigarette lighter, watch and wallet. One thing he was missing is a cell phone. That's because they were not widely available yet when Schexnider went missing in the chimney inside the Bank of Abbeville in January of 1984. Abbeville Police say they received a call from the FACES Lab in Baton Rouge Monday notifying them that their suspicions were correct; and the remains found in the Bank of Abbeville were those of Joseph W. Schexnider.

Schexnider, who would have been 49 years old today was last seen by family members in January of 1984. Schexnider was to appear for district court for charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. When he failed to appear for court, the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Department went to the family's residence to arrest him. According to Schexnider's mother, she thought that he had taken off to evade arrest. Shexnider's mother stated that she did not report him missing because she already knew that the Sheriff's Department was looking for him. Shexnider's mother stated that her son who would have been 22 years old at the time of his disappearance had a history of leaving the area for periods of time. During one of the times when he left the residence, Joseph Schexnider joined a circus and traveled with them for months until they were leaving the country.

Police say Schexnider appears to have entered the chimney from the top, and while no cause of death could be determined, police speculate that he died of dehydration and starvation. In the 1980s the bank closed off the chimney and in May, his remains were found when the bank started renovations. Police still cannot answer the big question about why Schexnider found himself inside of the chimney but Lt. David Hardy says he had no bag if he was planning to rob the bank.

At this point in time, there is no evidence to suggest foul play.

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