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Dog digs up human bone in his yard, and it leads searchers to more bones, SC cops say

A dog’s discovery of a human bone in a South Carolina yard has sparked a larger search.
A dog’s discovery of a human bone in a South Carolina yard has sparked a larger search. Getty Images/iStockphoto

A dog’s discovery in a South Carolina yard led to the search for a dead woman, the Seneca Police Department said Wednesday.

A South Carolina man called law enforcement Monday after his dog unearthed a large bone in the yard of his Asbury Drive home, police said in a news release. The residence is less than 10 miles outside Clemson.

The responding officers couldn’t tell if the bone belonged to an animal or a human, but no other remains were found in a “search of the immediate area,” according to the news release.

Police turned the bone over to the Oconee County Coroner’s Office, which determined the bone was “consistent with being human,” following an exam, Coroner Karl Addis said in a news release.

The bone was studied by a forensic pathologist and forensic anthropologist, who determined the right pelvic bone and right femur that were discovered belonged to a woman, the coroner said in a news release.

Armed with this information, a “large-scale search of the area,” which included cadaver dogs, was launched Tuesday, police said.

On Wednesday, the search spilled over to a nearby creek and more partial human remains were discovered, according to the police news release.

Forensic exams of the most-recently discovered body parts have been scheduled, Addis said.

Preliminary studies show the bones came from a white woman who was between 25 to 45 years old and was about 5-foot-1 to 5-foot-7, according to the coroner’s news release.

The woman most likely died within the past few months, but no longer than a year ago, Addis said.

Information on her cause of death was unavailable.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is assisting in the search, and samples of the recovered bones have been sent to its forensics lab to try and recover DNA from the remains to compare against “known missing persons, including the two recently reported missing women from Oconee County,” the coroner said in his news release.

The police did not say if the discovery has led to a criminal investigation.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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