Friday, September 7, 2007

Part Five - Mark Warren Judge

PUBLICATION FORT WAYNE - THE JOURNAL GAZETTE
ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT © 1996 FORT WAYNE - THE JOURNAL GAZETTE AND MAY NOT BE REPUBLISHED WITHOUT PERMISSION.
TAG: 199607040024

DATE: Thursday, July 4, 1996
EDITION: FINAL
SECTION: A SECTION
PAGE: 1A
SOURCE: By Tracy Van Moorlehem The Journal Gazette

SOLDIERS' REMAINS MAY BE MIXED CALIFORNIA EXHUMATION CLOUDS CASE OF CITY VIETNAM VETERAN'S BODY

The exhumation of a California grave may have further clouded a suspected mix-up of three Vietnam War soldiers' remains. Military officials expected the grave of William Berry in Yreka, Calif., to hold the remains of a New York soldier, Kenny Plumadore. Both men died while defending a Marine outpost south of the demilitarized zone near Con Thien. Plumadore's remains had never been found.

However, a local forensics specialist said that after examining the contents of the California grave he believes it contains the co-mingled remains of two soldiers, and dental identification is impossible because there aren't enough dental remains. ``God only knows where this will end,'' said Mary Jellison, mother of the third soldier the military believes is involved in the mix-up. Jellison thought she buried her son, Mark Judge, in a Fort Wayne grave nearly 30 years ago. But in 1986, the military recovered an unknown soldier from Vietnam. Eight years later, the military alerted the three families that it might have misidentified their loved ones in the heat of war. Consequent DNA testing led them to believe the new remains were those of Judge. Jellison questioned the objectivity and accuracy of the DNA test that the military used to identify the new remains and asked for a private DNA test to confirm it. After being unable to reach an agreement on the second DNA test, Jellison in April allowed forensic experts, including Fort Wayne forensic odontologist Phillip O'Shaughnessy, to examine the remains. O'Shaughnessy concluded the remains actually belonged to Berry. That seemed to jibe with the military's suspicion that the new remains were Judge's; the remains in Judge's Fort Wayne grave were Berry; and the remains in Berry's California grave were Plumadore's. But results of a June 20 exhumation of the California grave complicates matters. According to O'Shaughnessy, who again served on the scientific team, the remains in Berry's grave are actually the co-mingled remains of two soldiers. And since only a jaw fragment and two teeth were among the remains, identifying either soldier through dental records would be impossible, O'Shaughnessy said. ``Although the jaw has some similarities with available records, we just don't have enough to go on,'' he said. O'Shaughnessy said he had not seen the other scientists' findings. Department of Defense spokeswoman Beverly Baker said the military has made not official identification of the California remains. Baker said data from the exhumation has been forwarded to the Army Central Identification Lab in Hawaii, where it will undergo further study. The DOD has not yet scheduled a review board hearing to formally identify any of the remains, she said. Meanwhile, Jellison said the military told her Wednesday they want her to give up possession of the Fort Wayne remains so they could be buried in California, under Berry's headstone. But after two years of searching for the truth, Jellison does not believe she's found it yet. ``These remains right here could be my sons because they never came up with his records,'' she said. ``I can't let them go until I have hard, solid proof.'' Among other things, she wants the military to do a DNA test of the Fort Wayne remains. ``I just want the truth,'' she said.

CAPTION: PHOTO PAGE 10A: MUGSHOT OF MARY JELLISON PHOTO (2): Mark Judge, above, was believed to have been buried in a Fort Wayne grave nearly 30 years ago. Remains of two other soldiers are believed to be involved in a suspected mix-up.

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