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More Bones Found in Canyon Country

Posted: January 30, 2008 3:26 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2008 2:02 a.m.
Several months after the discovery of skeletal remains on a hillside in Canyon Country, the recent heavy rains have uncovered more bones in the same location, according to the L.A. County Coroner's office.

Dana Bee, head of the skeletal recovery team for the Coroner's office, said he received a call from Canyon Country resident Joe Massimino on Monday saying he had found some bones while walking his dog in a canyon below Steinway Street, off Whites Canyon Road.
Massimino's relatives had previously found other remains in virtually the same location on Nov. 22.
Bee sent an investigator out to the site Monday night to collect the remains, which are now being examined by a forensic anthropologist to determine if they are animal or human, and if so, how old they are and other pertinent information.
Bee said that it was too soon to make a definitive statement about the remains, but he speculated that they are part of the skeleton that was found in November, considering that the two finds were made in the same place.
"My highly educated guess is that they are from the same person," Bee said. Dr. Elizabeth Miller, the forensic anthropologist, is expected to have an answer within the next couple of days.
The spot where the bones were found is on the top of Massimino's 17,000-square-foot lot on Camp Plenty Road, which includes a steep section that backs up to Whites Canyon Road. Both Bee and Massimino said runoff from heavy rains that have soaked the area over the last week most likely uncovered the additional remains.
If the newly discovered bones are in fact part of the previously found skeleton, whether or not they will help determine the identity of the person is questionable. Bee said the bones were larger than those previously found, but still fragmentary in nature and therefore difficult to use for identification purposes.
The coroner's office has so far only been able to determine that the skeleton probably belonged to a man between the ages of 35 and 70 years old, who died eight to 10 years ago.
Massimino is hopeful the person will eventually be identified, for the sake of his family or loved ones.
"My prayer is that someone who is missing someone will finally get some closure on this," he said.


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