NewsCovering Kentucky


KSP: Skull Positively Identified As Harlan Co. Missing Man

Posted at 2:12 PM, Oct 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-29 14:12:45-04

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18)– A skull found in 2017 on Philpot Lane in Shields has been identified by NAMUS and North Texas University as Hershel Starrett, the Harlan County man reported missing in 2016.

On December 22, 2016, KSP received a call about 58-year-old Hershel Starrett, of LeJunior, being missing. Through their investigation, detectives determined that Hershel’s wife, Melissa Starrett and his cousin, James Starrett, ha attempted to purchase a firearm for the purpose to cause injury or death to an individual other than Hershel.

The two were lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center and charged with complicity to commit murder and receiving stolen property.

KSP said that the charges against James and Melissa are not related to the disappearance of Hershel.

On August 3, 2017, KSP received a call from a tree service about finding a human skull on Philpot Lane in Shields. On September 14, 2018, NAMUS and North Texas University identified the skull as that of Hershel Starett.

If you have any information about this case, call KSP Post 10 at (606) 573-3131.