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Tests Confirm Human Remains Found in Maitland Opera House Fire Debris

Authorities in Holt County confirmed Friday that human remains were found this week in the rubble of a fire in Maitland.
(MAITLAND, Mo.) Authorities in Holt County confirmed Friday that human remains were found this week in the rubble of a fire in Maitland.

Sheriff Scott Wedlock said a forensics team analyzed the remains found at the site of the old Maitland Opera House on Aug. 27.

He said DNA tests are underway to confirm the identity. Wedlock said that process could take several weeks. The remains consisted of bone fragments and soft tissue.

Meanwhile, the building's owner, Kenneth Rainwater, has never been located. He is suspected in the fire after authorities say he left two notes in his car suggesting he was involved. Rainwater was facing child pornography charges in Holt County.

The fire destroyed the building on Aug. 24. Crews spent the next several days putting out hot spots and searching the debris. They suspected Rainwater might be inside.

The fire marshal has not yet determined a cause for the fire.
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