Human skull, doll fragments found by dog in Yuba City backyard

Published: Thursday, Jun. 26, 2014 - 11:37 pm

Human and animal skeletal remains were found in the backyard of a Yuba City home after the digging of a persistent dog.

A man renting a home in the 1600 block of Nadean Drive found the items when his husky was “obsessively digging,” at the spot where the items were buried, according to a news release from the Yuba City Police Department. The department was investigating. Anthropologists from California State University, Chico, will examine the remains and provide police with a report next week, said P. Willey, an anthropology professor from the university.

“We want to make sure we can rule out any foul play and how the skull came to be in that ceramic pot,” said Shawna Pavey, the operations support manager for the Police Department.

After failing to get the dog to stop digging, the man, whom police did not identify, removed some of the dirt and found some of the remains with unusual items and called police, Pavey said.

Doll fragments were found along with the human skull and other skeletal remains in a large clay pot wrapped in cloth, she said. Pavey didn’t know whether the doll was manufactured or homemade.

Because of the type of items that were buried and because they were in a pot, anthropologists believe the items could be a part of an Afro-Caribbean ritual and religious traditions.

Willey and his team helped remove the remains and took them to a lab at the university.

“CSU Chico is looking at the age of skull and other articles and that will help us figure out about what time it had been buried,” Pavey said.

Contact The Bee’s Quinn Western, (916) 321-1031.

Read more articles by Quinn Western

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