- Published Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2013 07:58
John Sweeney disappeared in 2006 after he left note saying he was going for a walk
CONWAY – It could be weeks before officials determine if the human remains found in the search for Abigail Hernandez belong to John Sweeney, a Conway man who has been missing since 2006.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Officials could not say the remains definitely belong to Sweeney but did say they might belong to a man who has been missing for about seven years.
John Sweeney, then 52, of Mechanic Street, disappeared on July 29, 2006. He left a note to his wife saying that he was going for a walk in the woods. Abigail Hernandez, a Conway teen, was last seen leaving Kennett High on Oct. 9. As of Tuesday afternoon, she had not been found.
Sweeney was involved in a motor vehicle accident near his home prior to his disappearance. A motorcyclist was seriously injured. Sweeney was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated and released pending an arraignment. He was scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 22, 2006, but never made it.
On Tuesday, Chief Medical Examiner Thomas Andrew said the remains haven't made it to his office yet. It could take days or weeks to have answers.
"It might not be for some time," said Andrew of identification of the remains.
The skull fragment and teeth might date back a long time. Therefore, the remains might fall under the purview of the state archeologist. When asked if the remains may belong to Sweeney, Andrew said they would need to "go through the steps" to prove it.
Every spring, the Medical Examiner's Office is asked to look at bones, but most turn out to be nonhuman. The more recent the remains the more likely other bones will be nearby, said Andrew, adding his office gets human skeletonized bones every couple of years. Skeletonized bones have no soft tissue left.T he Union Leader reported the remains were found in a wooded area about two miles from Cranmore Mountain Resort.
Sweeney is 6-feet, 1-inch tall, weighs 220 pounds, and has shoulder-length brown/gray hair with a full mustache and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and white sneakers.
Fish and Game deferred comment on the skull to New Hampshire State Police or Conway police. Neither agency responded to calls by press time.