FBI forensic artist creates facial models to help identify remains
After a hiker found a human skull in a wooded area near Truckee over the weekend, local sheriff’s detectives followed up and discovered other potentially human remains, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.
The hiker reported the skull Sunday, found in the woods near Truckee and off Highway 89. Sheriff’s detectives reported the skull had been “exposed to the elements for a lengthy period of time,” a Sheriff’s Office news release said Sunday.
A follow-up investigation by search and rescue personnel found additional bone fragments that could possibly be human, the news release said.
A “weathered” campsite was found near the remains, but detectives and Coroner’s Office investigators are still working to determine if the remains and the campsite were linked, according to the news release.
Coroner’s officials continue to follow up, and the cause of death related to the skull is still under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook comment that it had “some leads” regarding identification, but also noted that the amount of time it takes to derive this information from human remains can vary widely.
Earlier this year, Placer County crews investigated skeletal remains found near Foresthill Road. More than three weeks later, authorities identified the body as Trang Tran, a 23-year-old Vietnamese woman living in Sacramento on a student visa.
Tran’s husband, Michael Forest Abeyta of Citrus Heights, was arrested on suspicion of murder in February, accused of killing Tran.
Abeyta is still in custody in Placer County jail awaiting trial. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 27 in Roseville.