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Autopsy on human remains planned for Saturday

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An autopsy is planned Saturday on the human remains found Thursday in a rural area in southwest Montgomery County.

While authorities are still working to identify the individual, the family of a missing Crawfordsville man believe the remains are likely that of James “Jimmy” Frank Popp, who they haven’t heard from since last month.

The remains were located at approximately 10 a.m. Thursday, according to a release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. A page created on a popular online fundraising platform late Thursday evening says that Popp was “discovered on the side of the road deceased.”

Police haven’t determined yet if the individual is actually Popp. The 41-year-old was reported missing to the Crawfordsville Police Department on June 13. Family members said they last had contact with him on the morning of June 7.

“We’re not going to speculate until we get facts from the evidence on hand,” Crawfordsville Police Chief Mike Norman said.

DNA testing will be used to make a positive identification, which Montgomery County Coroner Darren Forman said can take up to four weeks. The autopsy performed Saturday in Terre Haute will determine the manner and cause of death. Those results could take roughly six weeks, Forman said.

Until then, investigators are somewhat at a standstill and Montgomery County Chief Deputy Matt McCarty said Friday that no additional information could be released because of the ongoing investigation. 

Family members told Crawfordsville Detective Bob Rivers that Popp was headed to Indianapolis, yet family and friends have had no contact with him since. 

It’s unclear how long the remains had been there before they were discovered off a county road southwest of Crawfordsville. Authorities returned to the area Friday morning to finish collecting evidence from the scene with help from Indiana State Police crime scene investigators and a University of Indianapolis forensic anthropology/archaeology team.

Rivers has been investigating Popp’s missing person case. 

Anyone with information can contact him at 765-362-3762. 

Anyone with information regarding the remains found Thursday should call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 765-362-3740 and speak with Detective Aaron French at ext. 220 or Detective Ben Fullenwider at ext. 229.

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