Car Over the Side Leads to the Discovery of Human Remains

April 7, 2007
Hwy 74, Near South Fork Trailhead

by Grace Manues

Following an accident, in which a car went over the side on Highway 74 near the Mixing Station, deputies discovered partial human remains including a skull and jawbone.

The Coroner's office was able to use dental records to confirm the remains belonged to a man whose car was found near that area in July 2004. (RMRU participated in the original search for the man's body in August 2004.)

n April 7, 2007, RMRU joined forensic pathologist, Corporal Debbie Gray of the Coroner's Office, to search for additional remains. This task was made more difficult because brush-clearing crews had recently graded the search area. While we didn't have to fight our way through overgrown vegetation, the top foot of soil had been overturned, potentially burying any remaining bones.

Undaunted, a dozen RMRU team members fanned out across the search area determined to find what we could to assist the Sheriff's Department and to provide whatever closure we could for the family.

Over the course of three hours, we scoured an area about the size of a football field looking for any bones, large or small. After a few false alarms involving animal bones, Lee Arnson found a critical piece, the femur, and quite a distance away, Bruce Sanny located the clavicle.

While no one will ever know the "why," at least the family knows the "where" of their long-missing relative.