Detectives hope DNA or dental records will identify remains

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Homicide detectives probing the discovery of a human skull found west of Magic Mountain Parkway and Railroad Avenue hope DNA or dental records will reveal not only the identity of the deceased, but also what happened.

On Wednesday morning, shortly after 11 a.m., deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to reports of remains found in the Santa Clara River wash.

They immediately contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau, prompting an investigation by homicide detectives and investigators with the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Asked to describe the remains, Lt. Derrick Alfred of the Homicide Bureau said Friday: “It’s a skull.

“There is no apparent sign on the skull that would say it was a homicide. There’s no bullet hole, no sign of injury,” he said. “We’re hoping DNA or dental records will tell us more since, surprisingly, the skull had a pretty good set of teeth on it.

“Once we get that, we can works backwards from there,” Alfred said.

Leading the investigation at this point, are the coroner investigators, he said, noting: “We’re just along for the ride.”

Coroner spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said Friday an autopsy is pending on the remains that were found.

At the moment, investigators have few confirmed facts and don’t know yet if the remains are male or female. Subsequently, the remains are referred to as: undetermined Doe No. 24.

With no signs of trauma on the remains recovered, investigators have not ruled out a natural death, perhaps of someone homeless or missing.

“We’r checking all the lists of people reported missing,” Alfred said.

 

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