Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, January 8 2013 at 7:22 PM, Updated: Tue, January 8 2013 at 8:16 PM
Jackson County Sheriff's said they've been hard at work after police said skeletal remains were found over the weekend by a gold miner.
"We are still doing evidence checks in the area where the skeletal remains were found," said Andrea Carlson, spokesperson for the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
She said crews were combing the area once again to make sure they did not miss any potential pieces of evidence.
NBC 5 News spoke with a man who said he was the property owner. He declined to be on camera, but said the gold miner found a skull, pelvis, femur and shoulder bones.
According to the property owner, the area where the remains were found is rugged, steep terrain. He said the skeletal remains were discovered at the bottom of a canyon.
As for authorities, the investigation continues. Officials said they're not completely ruling out foul play yet. First, Carlson said, deputies have to find out the identity of the person.
"Right now we're just waiting to see if we can confirm, through dental records, if it is who we believe it is or if it's something else," said Carlson.
She said they're hoping to have the bones identified late this week or early next week if dental records work out. However if they don't, Carlson said the Sheriff's Office will use DNA to try and identify the bones. Using DNA would mean it could take several months before the mystery is solved.
The property owner believes the bones to be old and thinks they may have belonged to someone from the old mining days. However, there's no sure way to know...that is until the investigation is wrapped up.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.