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Skull found near Lesage

Jan. 05, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

LESAGE, W.Va. -- Investigators were involved in an extensive search along the banks of the Ohio River Friday evening after a human skull was discovered by a hunter earlier in the day.

A man who was rabbit hunting just north of Goose Run Road in Lesage discovered the skull just after 3 p.m. said Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas.

Investigators with the sheriff's office and the state medical examiner's office were on the scene Friday, and no other remains or identifying evidence have been found on the scene, McComas said.

The sheriff said it is too early in the investigation to determine the identity of the remains, or whether the skull belongs to a man or a woman.

It will be up to the investigator with the medical examiner's office to identify the remains, so it also will be up to that person to determine what steps will be taken to identify the remains.

In November, experts from the Smithsonian Institution based in Washington, D.C., visited the area to assist in identifying skeletal remains found on a property along Wire Branch Road in Ona.

The sheriff said there were no new leads on that case as of Friday.

"Both fortunately and unfortunately, that situation was an education for our staff on how to deal with skeletal remains of that nature," McComas said. "Right now, it is too early to say even if this person is from this area due to the proximity to the river, but we are moving forward with our part of the investigation."

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