Skeleton discovered on farm in Natchitoches Parish

By Fred Childers – bio|email

NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) –  A patch of farmland in South Natchitoches Parish became the site of an archeological dig Wednesday, after the farmer who was working the land came across two human bones.

Shortly after, members of F.A.C.E.S.,  or Forensic  Anthropology and Computer Enhanced Services got to work, digging, and sifting through every grain of dirt near the bones.

"There's  206 bones in the skeleton, and we found most of them," said Mary Manheim, Director of F.A.C.E.S. at LSU in Baton Rouge.

At the end of the day the bones were packed up, and headed to Baton Rouge.

"Where we'll do a profile age sex ancestry try to estimate time since death," said Manheim.

A preliminary glance by the experts suggests the bones have been in the two to three foot shallow grave for 20 years, maybe longer.

"We don't have any missing persons cases in the area dated back that far," said Travil Tramell with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office.

But that doesn't mean this case is closed.

"One of the oldest ones we've identified was a case from 32 years ago from Western Louisiana," said Manheim.

Even if the remains are never identified, the research will help Natchitoches parish investigators decide how to move forward with an investigation.

"They will be able to give us much more information after they've been able to completely analyze that," said Tramell.

But with nearly every bone found, and even some artifacts - investigators and scientists have plenty of evidence to work with in the coming days.

If it's determined that this is a historical burial, the bones will be taken to another place and properly buried.

If it's determined to be a case of a relatively recent crime - in other words if the suspect is still alive, then the NPSO will take over the case.

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