Sheriff: Skull found in Franklin County belongs to man dead for years

It's unclear if the person was a victim of a homicide. Officials need to ID the remains first.

Posted: Jul 2, 2019 1:53 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2019 5:18 PM

WAAY 31 has learned new details about a grisly discovery in Franklin County. Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said Tuesday morning the human skull found in June belongs to a man who has been dead for two to seven years.

Hikers found the skull on June 10th near Horseshoe Bend Campground in Hodges. Officials don't know who the skull belongs to or if the person was a victim of a homicide.

"It's sad. I hope it gives somebody closure. It's sad they couldn't figure it out and that there isn't someone looking for this person," said Chasity Welch, who grew up playing at Horseshoe Bend Campground.

Welch now manages the campground, and she said she's still hopeful investigators will match the skull to someone.

"Surely there is somebody who loves this person and misses this person. I was hoping when they found out, it would give someone closure right away. It's sad that nobody has really reported them," said Welch.

Oliver said the skull found in Hodges belongs to a man between the ages of 18 and 50. The state worked with a professor who is an expert in skeletal forensic analysis to make the determination.

"At this point, there are a lot of unanswered questions," said Oliver. "We personally don't have any missing person reports that match that criteria, but the investigation will begin to try and find out more."

While the skull doesn't match any missing persons cases in Franklin County, there's no telling where the investigation could take them.

"I'm sure there's other agencies that I'm sure this will assist, because this could be a break on some of the things they need," said Oliver.

Oliver said even though the skull was found in a rural flood zone, investigators searched the area well and haven't found other bones or anything connected with the skull. He's asking anyone in Franklin County or the surrounding counties with a missing loved one to come forward.

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