Remains of man with Charleston ties found in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence police on Thursday identified the man whose skeletal remains were found at a construction site last year.
Police Maj. David Lapatin said the remains were those of Phillip P. Seals, who was about 45 years old when he was last seen in February of 1982. The case is being treated as a homicide.
A construction crew renovating a building on Prairie Avenue in south Providence last July found a human skeleton buried under a concrete basement floor at the bottom of what used to be an elevator shaft.
Workers also found a 1980s identification card from Rhode Island Hospital, a jacket with a fur collar, cigarettes and a bullet.
Seals was born in 1936, graduated from high school in Charleston, West Virginia, served in the Air Force and lived in Providence from 1976 to 1982, Lapatin said. The Providence Journal reported that Seals went to Garnet High School.
The DNA testing was performed by the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, using remains from a relative. Seals’ remains will be released to his next of kin, said Dr. Christina Stanley, chief medical examiner. Stanley said she provided a cause of death to police, but would not release it publicly.
Lapatin said even though detectives are faced with about 30 years of missing evidence and clues, they have enough leads to go on. Anyone with information is asked to contact Providence police.
“There will be a lot of people surprised when we come knocking on their door after 25 to 30 years, believe me,” he said.