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  1. #1
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    CA - Traver, Skeletal Remains, on Highway 99 median, Oct'11

    Tuesday afternoon, Tulare County sheriff's investigators received confirmation that skeletal remains found in a median along highway 99 near Traver are human bones.

    Caltrans workers discovered the bones on Monday afternoon.

    "Perhaps the remains have been there for several years," Lt. Rob Schimpf of the Tulare County Sheriff's Office said. "We're going to be doing some more work to pinpoint that time frame but it is not an intact full body these are scarce bone remains that we've located.

    The lower jaw bone and teeth were found after Caltrans began digging in the area as part of a Highway 99 widening project between Goshen and Kingsburg.
    Read more: http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?se...cal&id=8386591
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 03-30-2013 at 03:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    The Tulare County Sheriff's Department reported they are now investigating the case of the human bones found by California Department of Transportation employees in Traver as a homicide.

    The bones include a skull fragment with an apparent gunshot wound in it.

    Other bone remains were identified to be parts of vertebrae, partial upper jaw, lower jaw, femur and ribs. ...
    Read More:
    http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/art...xt%7CFrontpage

  3. #3
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    The anthropologist said the bones had been there at least three years, Douglass said. They were found atop the ground and were not buried, he said.

    ...

    The upper and lower jaw have teeth that are in good condition and could be used to match dental records, he said. But so far, investigators don't know the sex or age of the victim.

    ...

    Meanwhile, sheriff's detectives are trying to match the bones to local missing-person cases. But Highway 99 gets traffic from all over the state, so it's possible the victim is not local, Douglass said.

    The bones were under foliage and became visible when Caltrans workers removed plants and bushes for a road project.
    Read more:
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/10/12/...#ixzz1ageCcfUn

  4. #4
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    This Google Maps Street-view of Northbound Hwy 99 at Traver reveals what appears to be the upper portion of a femur bone.

    Highway 99 Northbound - Traver CA


    Last edited by CarlK90245; 11-11-2014 at 01:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    This Google Maps Street-view of Northbound Hwy 99 at Traver reveals what appears to be the upper portion of a femur bone.

    Highway 99 Northbound - Traver CA


    Wow! It looks like it is right on the side of the road doesn't it! Hard to believe that this wasn't seen when it was a full body.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-11-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  6. #6
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    Carl , that definitely looks like a femur bone. Why on earth has this gone unnoticed for SO long? There were no roadside workers through that whole time? Or anyone walking along the highway? It just kind of blows my mind that no one saw anything!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TickleB View Post
    Carl , that definitely looks like a femur bone. Why on earth has this gone unnoticed for SO long? There were no roadside workers through that whole time? Or anyone walking along the highway? It just kind of blows my mind that no one saw anything!
    It was on the median of the highway, so there would be no pedestrians. And in California, if you are going less than 80 on the open highway, you're going too slow. So anyone driving by would be going too fast to notice.

    BTW, In most other states, if the speed limit says 70, and you are going 73 a cop with a smokey bear hat will pull you over and give you a ticket (and a lecture about how he ought to kick your butt for going so fast). In California if the speed limit says 65, and you are going less than 80, the other drivers will flip you the bird as they blow past you.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    It was on the median of the highway, so there would be no pedestrians. And in California, if you are going less than 80 on the open highway, you're going too slow. So anyone driving by would be going too fast to notice.

    BTW, In most other states, if the speed limit says 70, and you are going 73 a cop with a smokey bear hat will pull you over and give you a ticket (and a lecture about how he ought to kick your butt for going so fast). In California if the speed limit says 65, and you are going less than 80, the other drivers will flip you the bird as they blow past you.
    Also the bones were in the large oleander bushes in the median. It was not until the bushes were removed for the freeway widening project that the remains were discovered.
    Rest in Peace Suzanne Marie Sevakis

  9. #9
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    I went poking around to see if I could find out any more recent information about the remains, but this appears to be the last word. It's from the Tulare County Sheriff's department archives http://www.tularesheriff.info/news.php?p=31. You need to scroll down or search on "remains".

    Are the California labs so backed up it would take three years to get the information back? I know MA is backed up close to two years, so three years seems in the realm of possibility.

    LOCATION: Hwy 99 near Ave 368 - Traver DATE: 10-10-11 TIME: 1543
    CASE NUMBER: 11-13590 VICTIM: Unknown CITY: Unknown
    UPDATED INFORMATION:
    10-25-11 - The Sheriff's Office has submitted samples of the remains to the DOJ Lab for possible DNA extraction. There is no estimated time frame to complete this process. An update will be posted as information is received.

    UPDATED INFORMATION:
    10/12/11 - The Sheriff's Office is now investigating this case as a homicide.
    Part of the skull fragment had an apparent gunshot wound in it.
    The bone remains were identified to be parts of skull, vertebrae, partial upper jaw, lower jaw, femur and ribs.

    The Sheriff's Office has not been able to determine the sex or age of the victim at this time.
    The Sheriff's Office is contacting the Department of Justice Forensic Lab in Fresno for a DNA extraction.
    We are continuing to cross check this information with known area missing person cases.

    UPDATED INFORMATION:
    10/11/2011 – The remains located at Highway 99 north of Traver were examined at the Coroner’s office today. The bones were confirmed human and they included a lower jaw bone with teeth, along with other bones from a human body. Further examination of the remains and further investigation will continue.

    ORIGINALLY REPORTED
    10/10/11 - Cal Trans employees contacted the Sheriff's Department and reported they located possible human bones at a work site, in the center divide of Highway 99 just north of Traver. Detectives from the Coroner Office, Crime Lab and Violent Crimes Units responded and are still on scene investigating at this time. More information is expected be released as the investigation continues.

    ...posted by media relations
    *****
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  10. #10
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    One of my close relatives lived in this area about a decade ago. It is remote compared to the nearby Fresno area.

    My guess is someone dumped the remains under the oleanders & didn't care when and if the remains were discovered...Might be an undocumented person, or a victim of domestic violence.


  11. #11
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    I am local, and I wouldn't call this remote. The 99 is highly traveled and I have never been on there where there aren't at least a few other cars. There's a roadside restaurant/attraction in Traver that is quite popular (Bravo Farms, you can google it) that increases the number of people around there. I think it would have been fairly difficult to dump a body in the center divider on the 99 without people wondering WTF you're up to. A very odd choice for a dumping ground.

  12. #12
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    Oh, I stopped at Bravo Farms years and years ago -- 1999, I think. I didn't realize that was Traver. Yes, it was quite busy there in the daytime.

    I don't know about that area but around here it's common to see trucks pulled off the road on either side so the driver can check tires, load, whatever. The truck itself would shield you while you pull the body out. Then you walk around the truck like you're checking the tires, and nobody would suspect a thing.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  13. #13
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    ........I hate to bring it up but the FBI has said that a lot of truckers are suspected to be serial killers, who use the occupation as a way to find targets and evade arrest/attention by being so mobile. If this turns out to be full remains, it could have been someone who was dumped straight out of a trucker's cab into the bushes. BTW not contradicting the person upthread who still lives in the area, but HWY 99 is very quiet at night in some spots...5-10 minutes is enough time to dump someone & not have anyone drive by.

  14. #14
    I totally agree - it's not remote at all. I think it probably was someone undocumented or a domestic violence victim. I also wondered if the person may have come from the over pass above the median where they were found - maybe shot or dumped from up there? Seems so strange that things are taking so long and little information is being released. Thank you for the update.
    Rest in Peace Suzanne Marie Sevakis

  15. #15
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    I don't think it would take 5 to 10 minutes to dump a body. I doubt if it takes even a minute. I've seen a guy throw a coffin-sized box out the passenger window while driving and without slowing down. It was only household waste, which doesn't weigh as much, but even pulling over and walking around the car to pull something out of the trunk or back seat.

    I agree about the domestic violence victim.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

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