Jawbone Matches Missing Man's Dental Records: Sources

Bone was dug up as part of a probe into the alleged mishandling of cases by a soon-to-be-fired homicide detective, sources say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A new twist in the case involving suspended Philadelphia Police Detective Ronald Dove. As NBC10's Nefertit Jaquez reports, we're learning more about a possible link to a jawbone recovered last week. (Published Friday, Nov 22, 2013)

    Reynaldo Torres has been missing since last May and now it appears part of his jaw may have been unearthed during a probe into an alleged crooked former Philadelphia homicide detective.

    Multiple law enforcement sources tell NBC10 that Torres' dental records match the lower jawbone found in a dirt alley behind a baseball field at 4th and Westmoreland Streets last Friday afternoon.

    Crime scene investigators were digging for evidence at that scene last week as they investigate whether homicide detective Ron Dove may have withheld evidence during his investigation into Torres' disappearance.

    Sources say the jawbone found has two missing teeth, including one in the same spot where the father of three had a wisdom tooth removed.

    Torres disappeared along with 22-year-old Melanie Colon on May 8 after getting into a gold Mazda.

    Colon's body was later found in a wooded area behind an apartment complex, but Torres' remains missing.

    "Even though I want closure, I don't want anybody to come and tell me we found a piece of our brother," Torres' sister Melissa Ruiz told NBC10's Nefertiti Jacquez on Friday.

    Speaking for the first time since her brother went missing, Ruiz says detectives came to her home and collected a DNA sample.

    "It was horrible and I was crying," she said. "My gut tells me it might be him. For the detectives to come and swab you means there is more to it."

    Ruiz said detectives also plan to collect DNA samples from their mother, who currently lives in Puerto Rico, and Torres' daughter.

    The results of the DNA tests are expected to be returned in the next month.

    As detectives work to determine whether the jawbone belongs to Torres, invest gators continue to take a second look at cases handled by Dove.

    Sources tell NBC10 Dove is suspected of covering up three murders and Torres' disappearance.

    The 16-year veteran has been suspended with the intent to dismiss for allegedly lying to police. Officials say Dove helped his girlfriend, 33-year-old Erica Sanchez, in the hours after she allegedly murdered her ex-husband, Cesar Vera, in September.