Investigators ID skull, bones found by hunters

Published 8:05 pm Saturday, March 25, 2017

A skull and a few scattered bones found by hunters in the Arm community have been identified.

Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler said a partial skeleton found by rabbit hunters on a hunting lease have been positively identified by the state medical examiner’s lab.

The hunters discovered the bones Feb. 25 on land leased for hunting on Billy Davis Road in the southeastern part of the county. The remains were collected by an anthropologist with the state crime lab, he said.

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Butler’s suspicion that the skull belonged to a male was verified with DNA testing. They also received as a positive identification of the deceased. However, because the full pathology report is not completed, the sheriff’s department is withholding the name of the individual, said investigator Ryan Everett.

The bones had been “out in the elements for quite a while,” Butler said, and all of them could not be located. They were likely carried off by animals, Butler said.

Until the pathology report is complete, law enforcement has not ruled out any possibility of the cause of death, including homicide or suicide. A weapon was not located at the site, Butler noted.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department at 601-587-2961.

Lessie Butler