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The burned remains of the victim were found in a burn pit behind Steven Avery’s garage, and in a burn barrel behind the next door Janda residence. In a quarry pile south-southwest of Avery’s Auto Salvage more bones were found, of which several were burned. The defense argued these could've been the victim’s.

Analysis

  • What was recovered from Avery's burn pit was about 40%-60% of the entire skeleton of the victim. In other words, either more than half or less than half.
  • The defense witness Scott Fairgrieve said that the location with the most bones tends to be the location where the bones were moved to.
  • One or more pieces of every bone in the victim's body were recovered from the burn pit.
  • The victim's mitochondrial DNA was found in the burned remains.
  • Pieces of teeth were found in the burn pit.
  • Pieces of jeans were found in the burn pit.
  • Bones were found in the Janda burn barrel. These bones were noticeably larger than the bones found in the burn pit.
  • The burn pit was the only area which contained tiny, brittle pieces of bone and teeth. The burn barrel contained only noticeably larger bones.
  • According to the analysis of the State's expert Leslie Eisenberg and Kathleen Zellner’s expert John DeHaan the bones were burned in an outside fire.
  • The skull of the victim had two entrance defects which seemed to have been caused by a high-velocity projectile such as a bullet. The skull had no exit defects, indicating the bullets never left.
  • Inside the victim’s skull remnants of bullet lead were found.

Connections to other pieces of evidence

The burned remains at trial

The defense

The defense argued that the burned remains of the victim were originally burned somewhere else than Steven Avery’s burn pit, but were later planted there. As an alternative primary location they offer the quarry pile south-southwest of Avery’s Auto Salvage, where numerous bones, burned and unburned, were found.

The prosecution

Timeline of the burned remains

  • October 31, 2005
    • 14:30 Teresa Halbach arrives at Avery’s Auto Salvage.
    • 7:00 Steven Avery invites Brendan Dassey to a bonfire. The prosecution claims the victim was burned in this bonfire.
    • 23:00~23:30 Blaine Dassey sees Steven Avery tending to the bonfire. After 4 and a half hours it is still going on.