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More human bones uncovered

Posted: March 8, 2008 11:48 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.
A team of coroner investigators uncovered several more human bones in an area near Whites Canyon Road on Saturday during their final search in the field.

Initial skeletal fragments were found last Thanksgiving by two teenagers who were climbing a hillside near Todd Longshore Park in Canyon Country.

Coroner investigator Dana Bee said the Skeletal Recovery Team, joined by 15 anthropology students from Dr. Elizabeth Miller's California State University, Los Angeles class, were able to find a rib, several portions of the fingers and feet and some other fragmented bones during their nearly four-hour search.

Bee said they were able to confirm the fragments as human.

The group also came across animal bones, Bee said.
"We brutally interrogated the field," he said.

Saturday's search marked the third and last time that the team of investigators will travel to the location, Bee said.

He noted that aside from the trips made by the team, Bee and another investigator had been at the Canyon Country site about two or three times on their own searching for more of the remains.

Because the October 2007 wildfires charred the hillside where the skeletal fragments were found, Bee believes it is difficult to find anything else as any bones have been charred or "seriously degraded."
"We believe we've recovered all the remains," he said.

On top of that, Bee estimates that the bones are at least 10 years old.

Although coroner's officials have been unable to identify the remains, Bee said there is still a possibility.
The investigators are continuing to work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Missing Persons Bureau, the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Department of Justice and the FBI to retrieve any relevant information.

However, without a missing persons report, identifying the bones will be tough given the poor condition of the bones.

"I don't even believe there's any sort of viable DNA," Bee said.

"That's how poor of condition they're in. I don't believe there's any way to extract DNA from what we've got."


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