Skeletal remains found in the chimney of an Abbeville, Louisiana, bank two months ago have been identified as those of a local man who hadn’t been seen in 27 years.

The remains are those of Joseph W. Schexnider, who vanished at age 22 in January 1984, Abbeville police Lt. David Hardy told CNN. Schexnider’s disappearance was noted after he failed to show up for a court hearing on a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle. When officers showed up at his home to take him in to custody, Schexnider’s mother said he had fled to avoid arrest.

The remains were discovered in May when construction workers were doing renovations on the main branch of the Bank of Abbeville, a historic building that sits on the main square in the southwestern Louisiana town of 25,000 people. Tests done at a Louisiana State University forensics lab established the remains were those of Schexnider.

The cause of death was likely dehydration and starvation, Hardy said. Foul play was not suspected and the case is closed, he said.

But why Schexnider was in the chimney remains a bit of a mystery…

A mystery to whom? Do you think he was waiting for a bus? He stood atop the chimney to pee in the hole – and fell inside? Give me a break!

Save the “mystery” for Nancy Grace.




  1. Buzz Mega says:

    This kind of story always has a twist you didn’t expect. It turns out that the autopsy showed that he was abducted by alien chimney sweeps.

  2. scandihoovian says:

    He accidentally killed the original Santa and then had to deliver gifts to all the good little bankers around the world…..only to realize the original Santa could turn into a magic cloud when going up/down a chimney.

  3. msbpodcast says:

    Its Nancy Drew not Nancy Grace.

    If they didn’t find any burglary tools, then he fell in, though what the [expletive deleted] he was doing there is anybody’s guess.

    Its way too late to conduct an autopsy for blood alcohol/drug content.

    Mr Schexnider, we salute you and grant you a posthumous Darwin award. (Is there any other way to get them? 🙂

  4. spsffan says:

    Uh, what he was doing there was hiding from the police. Why he chose a chimney and that particular one we will never know.

  5. Andrea says:

    Wow, nobody clean the chimney for almost 30 years??. Or maybe he was cleaning it up when he fell 🙂

  6. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Tryout for the Polish “Hide and Seek” team.

  7. nonny mouse says:

    What a way to go.

  8. Who says:

    He should get an award as the hide and seek champion.

  9. John E. Quantum says:

    Poor bastard.

  10. foobar says:

    He died from the flue.

  11. GregAllen says:

    Wow. Dying of dehydration trapped in a chimney sounds horrific.

    I have minor claustrophobia and I can’t stand the thought of a slowly dying trapped in a small space.

  12. hewhomustnotbeflamed says:

    He died the way he lived, like a complete moron.

    Oh and more than likely he sufficated other wise the bank employee’s at the time would have heard him screaming for help.

  13. Faxon says:

    #10 for the win.

  14. I think this earns the moron – er, I mean the esteemed deceased – a belated Darwin Award nomination.

  15. Mr. Fusion says:

    #10 for the win, sure beats anything I might have come up with.


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