The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The discovery of human bones at a New Mexico reservoir prompted authorities to resume their search Tuesday for possible victims of a man convicted a decade ago of sexually torturing women, the FBI said.
FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said authorities returned to Elephant Butte after learning that a visitor had discovered a section of human femur and other smaller leg bones on the eastern side of the lake about a month ago.
The person came forward after seeing media reports about last week's search of McRae Canyon, Fisher said.
The FBI, New Mexico State Police and Albuquerque police are looking for any remains of missing victims of David Parker Ray.
Authorities have long believed that Ray, who died in 2002 while serving life in prison for sexual torture, buried some of the 40 victims he claimed to have had. No bodies have ever been found.
On Tuesday, authorities spent about five hours searching the area where the leg bones were found, but no other bones were located.
Searchers also went to other areas — including the south side of Caballo Reservoir, Percha Dam State Park and Kettletop — to follow up on other tips that have come in.
As for the bones found last month, Fisher said they were extremely weathered and it wasn't immediately known how old they were. He said they will be sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator for further analysis.
It's also possible the bones may be sent to an FBI lab for DNA analysis, he said.
Investigators said they will continue to track down leads and plan to resume searching the Elephant Butte area in the near future.
Ray, a former state parks mechanic, was arrested in 1999 after a naked woman wearing only a dog collar and chain fled his home.
In 2001, he was convicted of kidnapping and torturing a Colorado woman, and he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape charges in the case of the woman who fled naked. A third case was dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
Ray wrote detailed accounts of sexual tortures and burials of victims, but authorities have said it's unclear if his writings were fantasies or actual crimes he committed.
The FBI on Tuesday also released images online of hundreds of items that were collected during the investigation of Ray and hoped they would generate new leads.
"We are asking family and friends of missing people to look over these photographs and contact us if they recognize any of these items," Fisher said.