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Thread: Authorities say bones found in shed those of a child

  1. #1

    replica3 Authorities say bones found in shed those of a child

    WAUKEGAN Authorities say bones found in a shed north of Chicago appear to be human, possibly that of a child.
    The Lake County Coroner's Office says preliminary examination of the bones found near Round Lake on Saturday appear to be those of an adolescent between 7 and 9 years old.
    Lake County Sheriff's Det. Christopher Covelli says the coroner's office determined the skull fragments and teeth are possibly 50 to 100 years old. The fragments, along with a longer bone, were sent to a forensic pathologist and an anthropologist for a more detailed examination.
    Covellis says it could be days or weeks before science is able to make a positive determination about the remains.
    A caretaker of the site where the shed stands found the remains while removing items from it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Authorities say bones found in shed those of a child

    Child's skull thought to be Native American

    Part of a skull bone and bone fragments discovered in an old shed in unincorporated Round Lake likely are the more than 100-year-old remains of a Native American between the ages of 7 and 9, but that needs to be confirmed by forensic anthropologists, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

    If true, it will be the second discovery of Native American bones in Lake County in the past several years, said Orlando Portillo, chief deputy coroner.

    The skull bone is being shipped to the University of Tennessee Knoxville for a determination, which could take several months, he said.

    Several years ago, an anthropologist confirmed that a skull discovered in Buffalo Grove, which is being held at an evidence locker in the coroner's office, was determined to be the remains of a Native American, Portillo said.

    The latest discovery was made on March 26 when a resident on the 3100 block of North Fairfield Road in unincorporated Round Lake notified authorities about finding the remains in an old shed on the property, according to Lake County Sheriff's Detective Chris Covelli.

    "There were portions of what appeared to be a skull, including a jaw bone with teeth. We determined it to be possibly human and that's when we turned it over to the coroner's office," Covelli said.

    A forensic pathologist and forensic dentist examined the skull and bones and believed they were the remains of a Native American, Portillo said.

    "They looked at certain features," he said. "They looked at the jaw lines and the wear and tear of the bones to determine the age. It's not an exact science."

    Specialists at the Forensics Pathology Center in Tennessee will examine the bones to establish a profile, including age, sex, ethnicity, height, time since death and if any trauma was involved, according to the center's website.

    The co-owner of the property where the remains were discovered, who asked to be identified by her maiden name Bonnie Spinney, said her father, an amateur archaeologist, likely collected the skull while he was in either Mexico or New Mexico in the 1980s.

    "I remember my father showing it to me, in a box resembling a hat box," said Spinney, of Libertyville. "I remember him telling me that the bones might be Native American. It was pure speculation, and who knows," she said. "I don't' remember precisely what he said. In retrospect, I wish I asked more questions."

    She doesn't believe there's anything sinister about the discovery of the bones. The case remains open, Covelli said.

    Spinney's father, Harold E. "Bud" Spinney Jr., died in 2001 at the age of 91. A 1927 graduate of New Trier High School, he worked on the Chicago Board of Trade and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, according to an obituary. Later, he volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America in the Round Lake area.

    Spinney said her father put the box with the remains in the shed, which she and her sister called the barn. "Over the years, the barn roof fell in and it's been exposed to the weather," she said.

    When officers arrived at the scene, they found "an abandoned 10-foot by 8-foot shed that was completely full of miscellaneous items," including books and old electronics, Covelli said. "Much of it was damaged due to the condition of the shed."

    To gain access, officers had to remove a wall with help from the Lake County Department of Public Works, he said.

    If the skull is found to be Native American, the coroner's office will give it and the other discovered in Buffalo Grove to the proper authorities, Portillo said. By state law, remains of Native Americans found in Illinois must be turned over to the Illinois State Museum, according to Diana Dretske, historian and collections coordinator for the Lake County Discovery Museum.

    "There's a repository the state has set up for remains. If tribes come forward, then the remains can be repatriated, but the state museum is the repository," she said.

    Dretske said before European settlers came to Lake County in the early 1800s, Native Americans buried their deceased in what are called burial mounds, so an occasional bone can surface, she said, but much more often, people find old stone tools used by Native Americans. Determining which tribe they may have belonged to is difficult, she said, in part because people collect items like these from all over the world.

    Anyone who comes across potential human bones should call local authorities immediately, she said.

    Most calls about bones turn out to be from animals, Portillo said, but in 2007, a human skull was found on a golf course in Mundelein.

    "To this day, we don't know who the person is and no one has come forward about any missing person. We have nothing but bone remains. They're still locked up in the evidence room."

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