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Update on Recovered Human Skull from April 30, 2022

by Berks County District Attorney

Feb 01, 2024

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, a juvenile male discovered a human skull in a pond located near his residence. The pond was located near Pine Lane in Amity Township, Berks County. Two subsequent searches of this pond failed to locate any additional skeletal remains.

A joint investigation involving the Amity Township Police Department and the Berks County District Attorney Detectives was immediately initiated. Investigators began to suspect that the skull in question may be that of Roger Hart, formerly of Pottstown, PA. In April of 2004, Roger Hart was charged with attempting to kill his wife at their Pottstown home. Hart fled the crime scene and was not apprehended. Investigators determined that soon after this crime, Harts unoccupied vehicle was discovered not far from Pine Lane in Amity Township. Harts car keys and wallet were found on the front seat of this vehicle. Furthermore, a neighbor reported seeing a male matching Harts description exit this vehicle and enter an adjoining wooded area. Hart has not been seen since April of 2004.

As part of this ongoing investigation, the skull was sent to Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA, for the purpose of conducting an anthropological examination. The results of this examination revealed that this skull was that of a male and that this skull was believed to have been exposed to the elements for a period greater than 10 years.

Advanced DNA analysis was conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Laboratory and the FBI Laboratory Division, Quantico, Virginia.

Based on the investigation conducted, as well as the results of the DNA testing, investigators have concluded that the skull found on April 30, 2022, in Amity Township is that of Roger Hart. Based on the condition of this skull and the lack of additional skeletal remains, a cause of death cannot be determined for Roger Hart.

During this investigation, the Amity Police Department and the Berks County District Attorney Detectives were assisted by the FBI, PA State Police, Berks County Coroners Office, the Pottstown Borough PoliceDepartment, as well as numerous fire, rescue, and search organizations.

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