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County may exhume body to get DNA

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EUREKA - Woodford County authorities may exhume the body of a Carlock man's father in hopes DNA would prove if the Carlock man's remains were those found in the rubble of an August house fire.

"If it takes exhumation, I guess that's what we need to do," said Sheriff Jim Pierceall.

The sheriff said county officials have used all other means in an attempt to determine if the remains are those of Dale Fitz-Henry II, 68. Fitz-Henry has not been seen since the fire.

Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman said earlier this month a judge denied authorities' request for a DNA test on a child they believe could have been fathered by Fitz-Henry. Ruestman declined to give any information on the child, including the gender.

Fitz-Henry, 68, owned the rural cabin where the fire occurred north of the McLean County border near Carlock. He owns the 101 acres of heavily wooded land around the cabin, which was about three miles from a main road and had no utilities.

Authorities previously said Fitz-Henry and a woman in her 30s, identified Thursday as Tricia Simpson of Bloomington, lived in the cabin for months before the fire.

Ruestman said he may seek a court order in spring to exhume the body of one of Fitz-Henry's known relatives and use DNA testing to determine if the remains are those of Fitz-Henry.

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"We'll get this thing concluded before long," Ruestman said. "But it's going to take some court orders now."

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