An anthropologist and coroner from the Lower Mainland arrive in the North Okanagan today to assist RCMP following the discovery of human remains in a Vernon orchard.
The remains were discovered April 1 shortly after 5:30 p.m. in the 6000 block of Pleasant Valley Road by a man doing excavation work for the property’s owner.
“The area is protected, our general investigation section is taking the lead and working with the coroner,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.
“We’ll be doing a further search of the property to see if more remains can be found within the area.”
Molendyk confirmed that one bone was found, and that the bone was part of the human skeletal system.
However, at the request of investigators, Molendyk would not say what type of bone was found.
“I’ve been asked not to give that information out and I will respect the wishes of the investigators,” he said.
The bone was discovered in an orchard that’s been around the North Okanagan for many years, and work was being done to add more trees to the property.
The area where it was found, said Molendyk, is believed to be about an acre in size.
“It’s definitely not fresh, that is it hasn’t been put there in the last month or probably even the last year,” said Molendyk of the bone.
“It’s older than that but we need to have something like that dealt with by professionals.”
The anthropologist will use his or her expertise and experience in dating bones to try and determine how long the bone has been in the ground.
Molendyk stated it’s simply too early in the investigation to start searching through police missing person’s files.
“The first thing we have to do is try and put an age to the bone and determine how long it’s been there,” he said.
“That’s done through scientific methods. After we determine the age, or how long it’s been there, we can start looking at missing files from around that time.”
There is also the possibility the bone could be more than 100 years old.
“The anthropologist will determine the origins,” said Molendyk.
“This is going to take some time. It’s not going to happen overnight. There are many possibilities here.”