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Investigators say skeletal remains found in Hendry County are human

Investigators are now working to confirm whose skeletal remains were found in eastern Hendry County this week.

Tuesday, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office says a human skull and more than a dozen bones were found by a worker at a JD Thornton Nurseries off U.S. 27.

Florida Department of Law enforcement assisted HCSO Wednesday, as investigators are at the site to gather up all possible human remains and evidence. Investigators found over a dozen more skeletal remains while digging at the site.

“It’s a while,” said Lt. Michael Rowan with HCSO. “There’s some discoloration to the bones. You can tell they’ve been here for a while.”

Unless they find something that helps them identify this person — clothing, jewelry, etc. — investigators know they have a long way to go. One thing that could help investigators are some of the teeth they say are still intact with the skull.

“That’s going to be very crucial if we’re going to identify somebody later on,” Rowan said.

We spoke to the worker who discovered the remains, and he told us the discovery stunned him and said he was using a tractor to dig when a “head rolled out.”

The sheriff’s office told us investigators could be at the scene for up to three days digging and sifting through the dirt.

Once they collect everything they can, the remains will go to the medical examiner’s office, so an anthropologist can determine the age, height, weight and gender of the individual.

No clothing or other clues have been recovered at this time.

The sheriff’s office says it’s too early to call this a homicide or suspicious death.

“We are going to go back probably 30 years or so and determine what we have and see if anything comes up missing in this area or in the surrounding counties that will raise eyebrows,” Rowan said.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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