Remains found in basement solve decades-old mystery of missing dad

/ CBS/AP

Lake Grove, N.Y. — Human remains found in the basement of a family home on Long Island have been identified as the family's patriarch who disappeared half a century ago. Michael Carroll said he was a baby when his father, George Carroll, a Korean war veteran, disappeared in 1961. His late mother said he "went out and just never came back."

Since his disappearance, there have been hunches and what Michael called "funky stuff," like seeing ghosts in the house, which the Carroll family has owned since 1955, CBS New York reported.

Police said the family had always heard a rumor that he was buried in the basement, and a few months ago began to look into the hearsay. Michael Carroll hired a ground penetrating radar expert to check for disturbances under the house. Sure enough, family members began digging where the expert flagged, and found bones five feet under concrete in the basement.

Police said they don't think Carroll was ever reported missing. Now, his death is being classified as a homicide, Suffolk County police said Wednesday.

Police said they may never determine how he died.

Michael Carroll's brother, Steven, said in October that for years the children felt their father had simply abandoned them, and now they know he was with them all along.

Human remains were found under concrete in the basement of a New York home. CBS New York

First published on December 13, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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