Police search for possible human remains in a Santa Ana backyard

- A cadaver dog was brought to a Santa Ana home Thursday by police, who are investigating a report that human remains were buried in the backyard about three decades ago.

Authorities received a tip Wednesday night that a human body had been buried in the backyard of the home in the 600 block of South Center Street in the 1980s, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

When investigators went to the house, the owner -- who has lived there about 16 years -- said he anticipated a visit from detectives someday because workers a decade earlier had found two bones on his property, Bertagna said.

The homeowner did not explain why he didn't alert authorities right away.

"He said he hired some guys to clear out the yard and they found two bones and a knife and the bones appeared to be possibly human,'' Bertagna said. "They discarded the bones and the workers showed (the property owner) where they found the bones, and then they filled in the yard with six inches of cement.''

Based on the tip and the discussion with the homeowner, police brought in a cadaver dog, which indicated there may be human remains at a spot the resident said the bones were found, Bertagna said.

Workers put holes in the cement to let it air out and brought the cadaver dog back to see if they get another hit, Bertagna said. 

"We're continuing to treat this like a crime scene,'' he said. "...We'll be here overnight. The dog is here and tomorrow the coroner will come out and evaluate how to move forward, but at this point we continue to treat it
like a crime scene until proven otherwise.''

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