Crime - Sacto 911

Skeleton found buried in backyard identified as 24-year-old man

Workers renovating a house in the 6200 block of Dundee Drive in North Highlands came across human bones in the backyard Dec. 26, 2017.
Workers renovating a house in the 6200 block of Dundee Drive in North Highlands came across human bones in the backyard Dec. 26, 2017. rbenton@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office identified Joseph Michaels, 24, as the man whose skeletal remains were found in a North Highlands backyard late last month while workers renovated an empty home.

The identification comes weeks after crews at the Dundee Drive home spotted bones on Dec. 26 that may have been buried, prompting them to call police and report what they believed to be human remains. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced two days later that an entire human skeleton had been located in the backyard and that they were investigating the incident as a suspicious death.

Last Friday deputies arrested Michael Sager, 22, on suspicion of murder.

Sager previously lived at the home with Michaels and investigators believe a summer 2015 argument between the two ended with Sager fatally stabbing Michaels, said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton. Investigators had not determined a day when the argument might have taken place, Hampton said following Sager’s arrest.

No missing persons case for Michaels was ever filed to the department, he added.

Sager is scheduled to appear at the Sacramento County Main Jail on Thursday afternoon for an arraignment hearing.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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