Beach walkers find partial human skull

SEQUIM — People walking the beach at Port Williams on Labor Day found a partial human skull with the jawbone and bone fragments missing, authorities said Tuesday.

Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King and county Coroner-Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols said they do not believe that foul play is involved.

“I did not see any indications or obvious signs of foul play,” Nichols said.

“The remains did appear to be old.

“A forensic examination is required to determine how old they are.”

Active investigation

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the discovery, King said.

The beach walkers reported the find in a 1:19 p.m. Monday call to 9-1-1 from the 2000 block of Port Williams Road in Sequim.

“We believe it’s Native American, which is pretty common for us,” King said.

Photos of the remains will be examined by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Nichols said.

If they are thought to be old or potentially ancient remains, they will be sent to Guy Tasa, a physical anthropologist with the state Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

Tasa would examine the remains and test them to identify tribes who might have an interest in having the remains repatriated, Nichols said.

Circumstances

If the medical examiner’s office determines the skull is of more recent origin, local law enforcement would take a closer look at the circumstances surrounding their discovery, he said.

“It’s not uncommon for us to be in receipt of human remains,” Nichols said.

“It’s not always the case that we have a more intact skull.”

The review by the medical examiner’s office “will take at least a matter of days, if not potentially a couple of weeks,” Nichols added.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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