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Anthropologist to Help Coroner Identify Human Remains
DAYTON -- Local scientists are working to figure out whose remains were found in a wooded area of Dayton last week.
"The kids, they were just out, going on a little hiking trip," Victoria Burton explained.
It was a hike that turned in to a huge discovery.
"I haven't really heard them talking about it. They're saying dog remains, probably the best thing, just leave it like that."
Burton's kids and their friends actually stumbled upon human bones in the woods off of Home Road on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
Burton said, "I was shocked that it was just on the other side of the park with the kids browsing, out here in the summertime. I was just shocked and amazed."
"It's been there probably through a growth cycle, if not months to a year," said Montgomery County Coroner, Ken Harshbarger.
Investigators think they likely belong to a male. Harshbarger used a skeleton model to explain that a females pelvic structure is wider for the birth canal. A males is more narrow. In this case, part of the skull is missing and the bone structure could help determine race - so they don't know that yet. The ribs help determine age.
"As the skeleton ages, this junction changes and we use that to help age a skeleton. There's other signs, arthritis along the spine and other changes: trauma over time," Dr. Harshbarger explained.
An Anthropologist comes in Thursday to help. That expertise is a must-have in this case, especially with so much decomposition.
"They bring in a lot of detailed measurements of every bone and they bring in a much broader knowledge base about normal human anatomy as far as the skeleton is concerned," Dr. Harshbarger explains. "So they might notice a small defect in a rib where we may not notice it that may suggest a stab wound or a bullet pathway or those kinds of things."
Victoria hopes her kids' discovery - while scary - will help.
"The closure to someone's family because someone's missing a loved one out there.
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