SCSO release on human skeletal remains
Site of archaeological significance; released as a crime scene
May 15, 2007
Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, May 15th, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) sent out a media release about the human skeletal remains found near Pinedale last week. Below is the release reprinted in its entirety.
Sublette County Sheriff's Office Media Release
On May 10th, 2007, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office was called to a residential building on the West end of Pinedale after construction workers had unearthed several human skeletal remains. Work on the new home was halted and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) archaeologists Dave Crowley and Dave Vlcek were asked the assist in recovery efforts at the request of the Sheriff’s Office. Preliminary findings indicate at least six individual skeletons at the site; three adults and three sub-adults. Craniofacial criteria are leaning towards North American ancestry; however, further working on the individuals has to be done for this to be conclusive. Dr. Russell Nelson, forensic anthropologist, obtained his PhD from the University of Michigan in physical anthropology; is conducting this workshop on his own time. Based only on field examinations of the stratigraphy, Dave Vlcek believes the remains may possibly be Archaic (2,000 to 4,000 years old). Radiocarbon dating is being looked into in an effort to help further this time line.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to extend its thanks to the property owners who have graciously postponed work on their new home in order for us and fellow agencies to recover and protect this site. As well as the BLM office: archaeologists Dave Crowley and Dave Vlcek; Dr. Russell Nelson; Pinedale Online: Clint Gilchrist; Sublette County Attorney’s Office; Coroner Don Schooley; and all volunteers and workers who assisted in the recovery efforts. If the remains are determined to be of Native American ancestry, the property owners have already been in contact with Richard Farris, Shoshone Elder and Wind River Tribal Court Judge, for proper procedures concerning their re-internment.
The Sheriff’s Office has since released the crime scene as it has been determined to be archaeological/historical; however, the site is on private property and any persons who enter private property without authority may be subject to arrest and fines.
Authority of James T. Whinnery, Undersheriff and Wayne “Bardy” Bardin, Sheriff.
Human skeletons found near Pinedale (Pinedale Online, 5/11/07, 5 photos)