State Police: Human remains are missing man

By ANDREW DONOVAN

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - State Police investigators confirm to NEWSChannel 2 that they are confident in an identification of the remains found last week in Little Falls.

A positive identification is still pending DNA confirmation, police say.

Investigators are confident the remains are that of Donald Wichelns, who would 71 years of age if alive today. Police had earlier said this individual was a possibility, without releasing a name.

His body was found last Wednesday inside a crate and covered in debris outside an abandoned home on Flint Avenue.

The circumstances surrounding Wichelns' death are still unknown. Police say they are looking for information from people who may have known him, or his last caretaker, who is named by police as Tammy Lynn (Sterling) Barthelmess.

The residence on Flint Avenue where the remains were found is also listed to Barthelmess, according to State Police. She reportedly lived there last with Wichelns.

Police said Thursday that the elderly man had not been seen since between 2004 and 2006.

Investigators also have already spoken with Barthelmess, according to police.

People with information on Wichelns or Barthelmess is asked to called investigators at 315-866-7275.

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