Middle Georgia Cold Cases: The Bone Collector
GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Jones County sheriff’s investigators are trying to figure out whose remains were found on the southern part of the county in 2015.
If man’s best friend could talk — this story would be a lot different.
It was December 2015, and a white mixed-breed dog named Chaser found something unusual.
“It appeared to be an odd shaped bone and caused the residents some concern, so they contacted us,” Investigator Kenny Gleaton said.
What was so peculiar about that bone? Gleaton said it didn’t look like any type of animal.
“They’re telling us that the bone is consistent of a white female or a Hispanic male,” he said.
After testing at the GBI crime lab in Atlanta. Forensic scientists determined the bone was part of a human skull — but who did it belong to?
“Due to the close proximity to the Twiggs County line where the remains were recovered, the Twiggs County line is literally a few feet of there, we’ve been coordinating with that agency,” Gleaton said.
Chaser collects bones and his owner collects anything he digs up ever since they found the human skull.
“This particular case is also hampered by the geographical location. We’re talking about hundreds of acres of heavily wooded area right here where the remains were found,” Gleaton said.
Investigators in Jones County didn’t have a missing persons report on file. The forensic team determined the remains didn’t belong to a missing girl in Twiggs County either.
“Directly across from where the remains were recovered is a heavily wooded area at one time it was a heavily populated mobile home park,” Gleaton said.
He, his team, and cadaver dogs began a search of more than 100 acres — covering what used to be an old trailer park on Hidden Valley Drive.
The bone was there for at least a year, but it’s impossible to tell how long.
“We can’t search every single thing, every square inch. We have to narrow down where we think things are likely. That’s why we’re concentrating on the area where this trailer park was,” Gleaton said.
He says because there aren’t many clues, the investigation is at a stand still and it’s difficult to imagine what this person even looks like.
“…jawline. We have nothing like that to work on so to do any type of facial reconstruction would be impossible,” Gleaton said.
Leaving all the answers with Chaser and a mystery for those looking to solve this case.
Gleaton says the sheriff’s office plans to send the skull to the University of North Texas in Fort Worth to a program to do a DNA profile up against missing people nationwide.
If you have information that can help in the case, call the Jones County Sheriff’s Office at (478) 986-3489.