UPDATE: Remains determined to be from black bears

Published 10:03 pm Saturday, March 21, 2009

Speculation on whether the remains found north of Poplarville were in fact human proved to be well founded.

Upon closer inspection of the suspected feet and hands found near a signless road that lead to a gravel pit off of Baxterville Road Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department investigators and Mississippi Bureau of Investigations Crime Scene personnel thought the remains should be checked out by a specialist. Chief Deputy Shane Tucker and Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said there was speculation that they could be from an animal but as of Friday were still handling the case as though they were human remains.

Further inspection by the University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology determined that the bones were not human and instead from three black bears, Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said. Dr. Marie Danforth, a professor in the department of anthropology and Dr. Ed Jackson with the university’s department archeology both reviewed the bones. After Danforth determined they were not human, Jackson was able to identify them as being from three separate black bears.

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