April 16, 2013

Family finds skull piece in yard, police don’t suspect foul play

Rachel Brown
rachelbrown@daltoncitizen.com

— Authorities are investigating where part of a human skull found in a Dalton family’s yard off Old Dixie Highway came from, but their initial impressions are that the bone fragment is at least 100 years old.

Amber Stephens said her 6-year-old daughter found a portion of the skull on Saturday when she was playing outside. The family called police, said Amber’s husband, Jeff, and now they’re waiting to hear back.

“I don’t think it’s over 10 or 15 years old, but there’s still no reason for it to be there in the yard,” he said.

Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Maj. John Gibson said what the family found appears to be just the top part of the skull, and cuts in and around it are consistent with cuts that would be performed during an autopsy. There are several graves near the home where the family has been living about six months, and the family has a dog that officials said could have brought the remains from a number of places.

“It’s probably going to be something that came out of an exposed grave,” Gibson said.

He said the skull piece has been sent to the state crime lab for testing to help investigators verify its age. For now, they don’t suspect the finding is related to any unsolved crimes.