Human remains identified

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Police have confirmed a human skull found near Philpot Lane in 2017 belonged to Hershel Starrett, who had been missing since 2016.

According to a press release, Kentucky State Police Post 10 Harlan received a call on Dec. 22, 2016, concerning an individual missing from the LeJunior community. Master Trooper Michael Cornett (since retired) began a missing person’s investigation on Hershel Starrett, 58, of LeJunior. On December 24, 2016, Troopers, Detectives, and members of the Harlan County Rescue Squad began searching the area around Starrett’s residence and were unable to locate him.

The release also states at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2017, Kentucky State Police received a call from an individual working for Phillips Tree Service about locating a possible human skull off of Philpot lane in the Shields community of Harlan County. Detectives from Post 10 responded to the location and collected the remains. On September 14 KSP Post 10 received confirmation from NAMUS and North Texas University the skull found on Philpot Lane belonged to Hershel Starrett.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact Kentucky State Police Post 10 at 606-573-3131.

The case is still under investigation by Det. Josh Howard.