Foul play: detectives ID human remains as missing person

Nathaniel Allen Anderson

Detectives with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office have identified “mostly skeletal” remains found in Pinehurst woods in October 2017 as 22-year-old Nathaniel Allen Anderson, who was reported missing months earlier. Foul play is suspected.

According to Criminal Investigator Janois Grizzaffi Jan. 25, Anderson was living in Orange when he was reported missing in June 2017. During an “exhaustive investigation” of the missing persons report, detectives obtained information as to Anderson’s possible whereabouts while questioning “persons of interest” in his case. The trail ultimately led them to a wooded area behind a shopping center north of the 2600 block of MacArthur Drive in Pinehurst, where they found Anderson’s remains.

A forensic anthropologist from Sam Houston State University assisted detectives in collecting the remains from a shallow grave over the course of two days. Though officers suspected it was Anderson based on their evidence and information, tests were conducted to positively identify the deceased prior to releasing his name to the public. Also based on the evidence and the statements of persons of interest questioned by investigators, they believe Anderson had been murdered.

The investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, the Texas Rangers, the Jefferson County Regional Crime Lab, the Pinehurst Police Department, and the Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Anthropology Department and staff continued as they awaited positive identification, which they recently received from a forensic odonatologist at SHSU.

No arrests have been made at the time of this report, as OCSO detectives continue their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Anderson’s disappearance.