Human Skeletal Remains Found near NM Tech Research Area

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, Aug. 29, 2007 - Human skeletal remains, including a skull, which were recently found in a secluded area near a New Mexico Tech research facility, may be those of missing Socorro resident who disappeared almost ten years ago.

Investigators are now saying that forensic evidence found at the scene indicate that the bones are likely those of Brian Darling, a 28-year-old Socorroan who was enrolled as a full-time student at New Mexico Tech at the time of his disappearance on November 17, 1997.

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The human remains, along with remnants of clothing, shoes, a backpack, and a firearm, were found on Monday, August 27, by New Mexico Tech Campus Police, after a preliminary search of an area located about four miles northwest of Socorro. The search was conducted just outside the boundaries of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center's (EMRTC) 45-square-mile field testing site.

New Mexico Tech Campus Police searched the area after a Tech student who was mountain-biking in the vicinity on Sunday found a wallet and reported her discovery to police officers stationed at a nearby checkpoint.

"The State Office of the Medical Investigator currently is conducting a full investigation to positively determine the identity of the deceased and the cause of death," said Billy Romero, associate director of the New Mexico Tech Campus Police.