MCSO and CSU-Chico Working on Identifying Long Buried Corpse
Mendocino County Sheriff Lt. Greg Van Patten said a team from the California State University Department of Anthropology at Chico has recovered the full skeleton from
a shallow grave that was discovered along the shore of the
Eel River on October 30, as reported in the Humboldt Sentinel.
Lt. Van Patten said the team exhumed the skeleton after two kayakers made the grisly discovery of a tennis-shoe clad foot protruding from the soil near Piercy. He said the skeletal remains were taken to the CSU-Chico lab and estimates the analysis will take four to six weeks to complete due to their caseload.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s investigators say it’s still too early to determine if the human bones located in the shallow grave of the riverbank are related to any missing persons from coastal Mendocino County.
When Sheriff’s investigators found the bones based on the kayakers’ tip and location, they secured the area and called in CSU investigators.
Van Patten said investigators believe the bones are that of an adult, but at this time the gender is still unknown. Remnants of clothing were also found with the remains and being examined by the lab’s forensic investigators.
Asked if the bones showed evidence of bullet scarring or intrusion, Van Patten said it’s too premature to tell at this point.
He also added that forensically it’s too early to narrow down the possible origin or identity of the decedent. However, a botanist is working with the team to look at the growth of roots and vines over the grave in order to better determine when it was placed there.
“We’ll know a lot more when the results come back,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Department has dozens of unsolved missing persons cases dating back to the 1970s, including several from coastal areas.
Anyone with information in regards to this case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100. More information on local missing persons cases can be found on the Sheriff’s Department website, the MCSO said in their release.
(Posted by Skippy Massey)