03-10-2006, 05:32 PM #1Registered User
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- Mar 2006
VA - Botetourt Co., Mandible found in James River, Feb'06
Teenager finds jawbone while searching for bait
A 13-year-old boy searching shallow waters of the James River for bait came across a human jawbone Monday in Botetourt County, authorities said.
"I think the boy goes fishing a lot, but it's not every day he finds a jawbone," said Maj. Delbert Dudding of the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities don't know who the bone belonged to. "We know of nobody that we suspect it may be," Dudding said.
The medical examiner's office concluded Tuesday that the bone -- which contained five teeth, four with fillings -- was human, but it was unknown whether forensic testing would be able to determine the person's age, gender, or when he or she died.
Dudding said the teenager was fishing about 3 p.m. Monday in headwaters just south of Iron Gate in the northern tip of the county. The boy was looking for minnows when he discovered the jawbone in about 6 inches of water at the river's edge in an area that is dry land unless the river is high, Dudding said.
Investigators searched the riverbank Tuesday but found no more remains, Dudding said. "A light bone like that could have floated in from ... miles away," he said.
Anyone who believes they might know whose bone was found is asked to call the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office at 473-8230.
The Medical Examiner's office has determined a human jaw-bone does not match the dental records of any missing person's cases sought by the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office.
That includes James Hall, who disappeared in 2004, and Gene McPherson, the slain brother of former Craig County Sheriff, B.B. McPherson.
Forensic tests showed the bone could be decades old. Neither age, sex nor race could be determined.
A 13 year old boy found the jawbone in February while fishing near his Botetourt County home.
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