Detectives: Skeleton found by tree planters near Molalla
Skeletal remains discovered in a remote wilderness area southeast of Molalla has the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office detectives looking for tips in a case being investigated as a homicide.
On Friday, Jan. 8, a Weyerhaeuser crew working in a wilderness area southeast of Molalla stumbled across human remains, including a partial human skull. The remains were found at a work site where the crew was planting trees, in a steep ravine off a private logging road.
Scraps of clothing found in the area suggest the remains may have been there for some time. CCSO detectives said that the remains predate the wildfires that swept through that area last September.
The work crew notified the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's Office deputies, detectives and forensic specialists responded to the scene, along with the Clackamas County Medical Examiner's Office and Oregon State Police Crime Scene Investigators (CSI).
Because of the steep, 45-degree incline where the bones were found, Clackamas County Search and Rescue (CSAR) volunteers also responded to the scene to run rope lines down the hill.
Working together, search teams and Sheriff's Office investigators spent several days combing over and photographing the scene, recovering and documenting all available remains and any other possible evidence at the site.
Among the additional items recovered at the site: a white, low-top style canvas athletic shoe, size 9.5, and a dark-gray metal ring with a square red stone.
The recovered skeletal remains are now with Dr. Nici Vance, state forensic anthropologist with the Oregon State Police, for detailed analysis.
Tips sought: Reference CCSO Case No. 21-000584. Anyone with information on the human remains found southeast of Molalla is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip Line by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at clackamas.us/sheriff/tip.
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