Construction workers find human remains near I-5

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department seal. File Photo
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department seal. File Photo

Homicide officials are investigating human remains that were found Monday off Interstate 5 in Castaic, according to the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau. 

A skull was spotted around 3 p.m. by construction workers conducting repairs on Interstate 5, less than a mile from the 32000 block of Castaic Road in part of the burn area of the recent Route Fire, according to Sheriff’s Department Lt. Omar Camacho. 

“Workers in the area … were working on the 5 Freeway when they came across the skull and ended up notifying us,” he said.  

Once the skull was found, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies, the Homicide Bureau and a Special Operations Response Team from the Coroner’s Office — a unit that responds to death investigations that require specialized search or recovery such as a clandestine grave or scattered skeletonized remains, according to the coroner’s website — responded to the scene. 

Both agencies were on the scene and searching the remote location by approximately 5:30 p.m., he added. The terrain required special gear and hiking boots to access. 

In addition to the skull, there were also bone fragments found, but the initial appearance of the remains made it impossible to determine whether it was a man or woman — or how long they’d been out there, Camacho said.  

He said there might be more information available after medical examiners in the coroner’s office take a look at what was recovered. 

“There might not be any usable info to help ID (the remains),” he said, “based on what was found.” 

A cause has not yet been determined for the Route Fire, which broke out Aug. 31 near Interstate 5 at Lake Hughes Road in Castaic. It was declared contained on Sept. 6, according to CalFire’s website. 

Anyone who has any information about the remains can contact the Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. 

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