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TVA investigating after hikers find bones in Priceville

WAAY 31 spoke with the couple about their rare find on Mussle Camp Road.

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 6:42 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2019 9:50 PM

The Tennessee Valley Authority has launched an investigation after a couple’s hike in Priceville turned into a unexpected discovery.

TVA told us, with the amount of flooding we had in February, it wouldn’t be unheard of for artifacts to wash up.

WAAY 31 spoke with the couple about their rare find on Mussle Camp Road.

“We had our dog with us—Nova," Stacy Harbison said. "We were just kind of hanging out in our little spot that we always go to, and she came back with a bone.”

Stacy Harbison and her fiance, Joseph Bryan, were enjoying the beautiful weather with their dog, Nova, when she picked up something odd.

At first, they thought the bones might've belonged to a deer.

“We started looking at it over the next couple of days on Google and the internet, and I was more and more convinced that it was a human," Harbison said.

That’s when Joseph Bryan went back to see if he could find anything else.

“There were a bunch of bones laying around and that's where I found the jaw bone," Bryan said.

The couple told WAAY 31 they took the bones they found to Priceville Police.

“They told us it was probably someone who just fell overboard and drowned," Harbison said.

After that, the couple contacted the Tennessee Valley Authority, and they say investigators told them the bones may be hundreds of years old and may belong to a Native American.

“They were pretty sure they knew what tribe it was," Bryan said. "I tried to get him to tell me and he said they just can’t disclose it.”

“I hope they move it so it can be in a more permanent location and not just get washed away," Harbison said. "It’s somebody. No matter what happened, it’s still somebody. Some respect needs to be shown. It was in a riverbank.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority told WAAY 31 their Cultural Resources team is leading the investigation, and they want to remind folks that if you find something like this on their land, you shouldn’t touch it because it's federal property.

Instead, they ask that you snap a picture and send it to them, along with GPS coordinates of where you found it.

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