Human Skull, Other Skeletal Remains Found In Valinda Yard

VALINDA (CNS/FOX 11) - A human skull and other skeletal remains were found Friday in the yard of a Valinda-area home where investigators have been digging for two days in connection with a 2009 missing-person case.

"We have recovered skeletal remains of a body,'' Ed Winter of the coroner's office said. "It has not been identified yet, and it'll be a process that we'll follow through in trying to get the body positively ID'd as soon as possible.''

It was unclear how long it will take to identify the remains.

Personnel from the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau and the coroner's office went to the 700 block of Elsberry Avenue about 7 a.m. Thursday to begin the dig, which continued throughout the day and resumed Friday morning.

Sheriff's officials would only say the investigation involves the whereabouts of a person reported missing in 2009. Authorities declined to identify the missing person, described only as an adult.

Late Friday morning, sheriff's Lt. Vic Lewandowski said something was
found in the yard, but he initially declined to say what it was, other than saying the discovery prompted investigators to focus their excavation on a particular part of the yard.

On Thursday, the sheriff's department released preliminary information on why investigators went to the home.

"Information was received that the remains of the missing person were possibly buried at the location,'' Deputy Guillermina Saldana said. "The possible missing person is not believed to be a resident at that location. The current residents are cooperating with detectives.''

Lewandowski told reporters Thursday that detectives obtained a search warrant after "developing information'' on the case, but declined to elaborate.

Lewandowski said the name of the missing person was being withheld.

"If it turns out that it becomes a homicide investigation, we need to protect the integrity and the sensitivity of the investigation,'' he said.

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