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2-1-2012


Skull determined
not to be from
a recent death
MORE STUDY TO BE DONE

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

An examination of a human skull found in Platte County on Thursday, Jan. 19 has been completed, and the initial indication is that the death is not recent.

According to authorities, the skull, which was found along the west side of the Missouri River levee near Waldron, first appeared to have a damaged eye socket. The skull was sent to the Jackson County Medical Examiner's office to be examined.

The examination revealed that the damage to the skull occurred after death.

Officials say the area where the skull was found was flooded this past summer.

Dr. Michael Finnegan, a professor of anthropology at Kansas State University and forensic anthropologist, said the examination he conducted could not immediately determine an exact age of the skull or an exact cause of death.

Finnegan determined that the time of death was not recent. Further testing could reveal more information, officials say.

According to Cpt. Erik Holland, public information officer with the Platte County Sheriff's Department, the remaining bone fragments found in the same vicinity on Friday, Jan. 20 were determined to be turkey and fish bones.

The Platte County Sheriff's Office will be collaborating with the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office, and state officials to determine an appropriate burial of the bones.