Sheriff: 'Way too early' to tell if human remains belong to Andreen McDonald

Remains were found in 600 block of Specht Road

By Fares Sabawi - Digital Producer, Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - While Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar is hopeful human remains found Thursday night in north Bexar County belong to Andreen McDonald, he said Friday morning it was still "way too early" to make that determination.

Deputies were called out to the 600 block of Specht Road around 7:30 p.m. Thursday after bones and a skull were found about 20 yards from the road on a 50-acre private property by a person who notified authorities.

Search parties have been in the area to look for McDonald since she was reported missing on March 1, but Salazar said the remains were found on private property where they previously haven't searched.

The remains were found by a family friend of the property owners, Salazar said. The owners oversee several properties and "seldom" come out to the 50-acre tract in Bexar County, the sheriff said.

"The bones are pretty bleached out," Salazar said, noting that the remains have likely been there for several months.

Investigators are still reconstructing the scene and haven't yet sent the remains to be tested. Salazar said that will happen as soon as officials from the medical examiner's office give them clearance to remove the bones and the skull found on the property.

Beside the remains, Salazar said they haven't found any signficant personal items, like clothing.

"The timeline seems to match up (with the disappearance of McDonald)," Salazar said. "But we don't want to get too hopeful. We've been down this road before."

Salazar was referring to human remains that were found off Highway 211 near Government Canyon National Area on April 4. The remains there were later identified to belong to Norma Pacheco, 39.

Andreen McDonald's husband, Andre McDonald, was arrested in connection with her disappearance. He is charged with tampering with evidence and is currently on house arrest.

Andre McDonald, an Air Force major, was arrested after investigators discovered that he purchased cans of gasoline, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, a portable burn barrel, a shovel and an ax around the time of his wife's disappearance. Andre McDonald also tried to destroy the receipt for those purchases, investigators said.

Deputies were stationed at the scene overnight to preserve it and the search for more of the remains continued early Friday with about 40 deputies and FBI agents. Salazar said investigators may remain out there for the next few days while they continue to search the area.

Watch Sheriff Javier Salazar's Friday morning press conference:

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