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A call from the Sheriff's office

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posted on Nov, 12 2015 @ 11:24 PM
Seeing the caller ID saying County Sheriff will send the mind racing....
What has happened?
Yes, I just paid my taxes a couple of days ago...
Yes, I just complained about the conduct of a deputy...
No, they don't do death notifications by phone...and a thousand other thoughts flitted through my mind.

I have friends at the department but they've never called me on the official line. This was something different.
Indeed it was. It was a friend but an official call to get an identification on a bone. One of our neighbors is brand new to country life. Her dog escaped his enclosure this afternoon and took off into the woods. When he returned from his adventure he was the proud possessor of a fine, fairly fresh femur bone.
The poor neighbor lady was convinced someone had been murdered in the woods and called the sheriff. The deputy isn't a hunter and didn't take any anatomy classes evidently. He called the coroner. At the coroner's request he sent a picture. The coroner, who also has never had an anatomy class, told him that since he was in the neighborhood, he should call me and have me identify it because it looked to him like a deer bone. (I've served as a consultant to past sheriffs and coroners because I'm the only archaeologist with extensive training and experience in human forensics. I don't do actual investigations, just determine whether or not they need the state medical examiner.)

Since we have more white-tailed deer than you can shake a stick at, any large bone drug up by a dog is most likely from one that has passed on. Knowing this, I grabbed a few samples of deer long bones and headed over to meet up with the deputy and the neighbor. It was indeed a large femur with lots of gnaw marks and very little tissue.

I assured them both that it was just the remains of a coyote feast.

The deputy seemed quite relieved that he didn't have to head out to the woods looking for a dead body. The neighbor lady was quite distressed because she'd already posted to facebook that there had been a murder in her neighborhood. She kept asking, "Are you sure?" "Don't you have to do DNA testing or something?" as though she was quite disappointed. I ended up doing a quick class on differentiating human bone from animal bone. (With a femur, it's really pretty easy.) I explained to her that I had, in the course of my career, handled literally thousands of human bones.

Now there's a wild rumor going around the county that there's been a murder and the local cops are covering it up. All because of a retracted facebook post.
The deputy finally ended up by telling her that if she wanted to have a DNA test she was free to do so since the bone was hers now that the dog had found it. I suggested letting the dog have his trophy---outdoors of course.

That was one happy dog!

posted on Nov, 12 2015 @ 11:32 PM
So you've been killing people then feeding them to her dog huh? So "Dexter" just how long have you been doing this?

posted on Nov, 12 2015 @ 11:44 PM
Happy Friday the 13th! (or at least for some parts of the world already)

Sounds like she's a bit paranoid, or the result could be an interesting urban legend in the making. Though, of course, one you don't want to be caught int he middle of. Maybe she called the cops now they are wondering if you know something else about this that they can't tell-such as no idea about the bones. Suggest to have a wildlife center or even local vet have a look at the bone/s for confirmation.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 12:36 AM
a reply to: buster2010
Must have been going on for years. I constantly find bones in my yard and gardens. I encountered a rib bone while digging sweet potatoes a few days ago. If I had to guess, I'd say ham hock bones comprise a majority of the faunal remains on this homestead.
Rib bones would run a close second I'm guessing.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 01:27 AM
a reply to: dreamingawake
Nah, I don't think she's paranoid, just new to rural living. She had no idea she has coyotes passing through her yard each night. That freaked her out a little I think. She was shocked to learn that what she thought were a pack of neighbor dogs making a racket at night is actually a band of coyotes. We have at least four bands within hearing. Some nights they all give voice simultaneously. When the weather is fine, we have our windows open and hear them quite regularly. She keeps her windows locked so she has only heard them once when she was letting the dog out at night.
I have a large collection of animal bones that I use in my presentations to school groups.
I was consulted because there is literally nobody in the county who has handled more actual human skeletal remains. I was part of a team of people who handled nearly a thousand disturbed burials at a site called Slack Farm. That was at the beginning of my career. I, by sheer happenstance, was one of the first archaeologists on the scene of that crime. My crew was doing an archaeological survey for a proposed optic cable one county removed from the site.

After spending nearly three months doing salvage archaeology at the site, I was also part of the team that analyzed the disturbed remains, then celebrated their return to the earth.

The story of the looting of Slack Farm is my favorite reference when trying to convey to people how good things can result from terrible things. That love and tolerance can overcome anger. That we have to be the change we want to see in the world.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 01:48 AM
This reminds me of Wyoming. Cant walk 10 feet without tripping over whitetail or elk bones lol.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 02:15 AM
a reply to: smirkley
I think the rut has begun here. Suddenly I'm seeing road kill , two yesterday within a mile of the house. For every one seen along the road, there are probably one or two that were hit by vehicles but didn't die instantly.
Some of the bones in my collection are from one such buck, hit by a car but made it to the brush pile where he liked to bed up. We found his bones the next spring when we were doing a bit of clearing up.
It is also hunting season so there will be a number of wounded deer sheltering out there. The coyotes are feasting this time of year.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 07:19 AM

He called the coroner. At the coroner's request he sent a picture. The coroner, who also has never had an anatomy class,

Wait....what? A Coroner who doesn't know anatomy?

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 01:40 PM
a reply to: DAVID64
Yes, in Kentucky we elect a coroner. Our county elected a high school graduate who formerly worked as a police dispatcher. He has access to the state medical examiner's office but since it is located in Louisville, only calls them down here in rare circumstances. In our county, the coroner simply arranges for autopsies to be done at the regional laboratory and coordinates investigations with local law enforcement.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 04:17 PM

The neighbor lady was quite distressed because she'd already posted to facebook that there had been a murder in her neighborhood. She kept asking, "Are you sure?" "Don't you have to do DNA testing or something?"


Funny what FB does to people!

I dug up some bones in a friends garden a few years back, looked suspiciously like small leg bones to me, stained brown so I assumed they'd been there a long time, and I hoped they were from a large dog, quickly buried them again.

S&F for the entertainment

edit on 13-11-2015 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 06:08 PM
a reply to: VoidHawk
Yeah, I get calls from time to time when construction crews find bones while digging foundations. Cow and horse bones are most common because those animals are usually buried pretty much where they die. This time of year is when the fresh bones turn up often due to deer season.
I counted 17 does enjoying the sunshine in my wheat field this afternoon. The yearling bucks were having a fine time butting each other and play fighting.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 07:04 PM
a reply to: diggindirt

LOL! Well, glad you were there to clear things up, and wow, I'd bet that story persists for a long time! The woman ought to post pics of the deer bone, and some info on how to tell it from human, to slow things down.

Of course, not posting before knowing the facts would be good as well, but FB users often don't think before posting.

posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 08:04 PM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes
Hopefully, she was able to squash it but least one of the local gossip sites is reported to have a thread about it.
Apparently the dispatcher for the sheriff's office misspoke and said over the air, "A woman has found bones in her yard." A relative of mine heard the dispatch and subsequent conversations on their police scanner. My phone hasn't stopped ringing. Thankfully, they didn't give my name and phone number over the air (according to my source) but plenty of folks driving by saw us standing with bones in our hands in her yard.
Our neighborhood incident was eclipsed by the safe capture of a rogue emu.

I feel blessed to live in a community whose top story in the local paper is about a big bird's capture---not to take ANYTHING away from those brave women who captured it.
edit on 13-11-2015 by diggindirt because: spelling

posted on Nov, 14 2015 @ 06:57 AM
a reply to: diggindirt

I'm from Kentucky myself and I know we elect Coroners, but it just seems so odd that someone in that type of office would not have at least some training in identification.

posted on Nov, 14 2015 @ 04:35 PM
a reply to: DAVID64

Yes, it always has seemed odd to me as well. In our area, it was tradition to elect an undertaker to the position for many years. I suppose the thinking was that they weren't squeamish about handling the dead.
They do have to take a training course but it is a semester of information condensed to a week-long course. They also have to take continuing education courses each year. But it takes years of actually handling bones to be able to readily identify isolated finds like a single bone. Well, maybe not a femur like in this case----he was pretty sure of what he was seeing in the picture sent to him.

posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 04:47 PM

I feel blessed to live in a community whose top story in the local paper is about a big bird's capture---not to take ANYTHING away from those brave women who captured it.

Wait, they caught big bird ?

Any news on an invisible mammoth companion ?

posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 07:52 PM
a reply to: Marduk
We're keeping a sharp eye out for him!

Apparently rogue emus are a widespread problem. Today's paper had another story about one in Delaware that had escaped and caused a school to be locked down. They are pretty nasty birds evidently.

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