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Sheriff: Skeletal remains were Native Americans

Posted at 9:44 AM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 13:09:19-04

The Elmore County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Office says the skeletal remains of two individuals discovered in April in the Elmore County desert date likely back more than 500 hundred years –- to the 1400s.

The remains were discovered partially uncovered in a badger hole. Originally, the sheriff's department began the investigation as a potential homicide.

With help from the Boise State University Anthropology Department, experts were able to determine approximate age ranges of the deceased. The first body is a young child between four and 6 years old and the other is a young adult around 20 years old, officials said

Investigators sent parts of the remains to a lab for carbon testing to help narrow down the time frame when the bones were buried. Test results indicated the bones were buried sometime between 1436 and 1642.

Elmore County Sheriff Mike Hollinshead called for a second opinion -- which confirmed the findings.

The lab was able to determine the diets of the deceased were high in corn.

The remains are now in the possession of the Bureau of Land Management. BLM officials now working with nearby Native American tribes in efforts to determine a potential link between the skeletal remains.

The Sheriff's Office is no longer investigating this case as a homicide, Hollinshead stated.