Skull found in Wal-Mart parking lot may be young woman's

SANDUSKY The remains found in the Wal-Mart parking lot earlier this week appears to be the skull of
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



The remains found in the Wal-Mart parking lot earlier this week appears to be the skull of a young woman.

The Lucas County Coroner said an anthropologist will examine the skull, discovered Tuesday by a store employee along a grassy strip frequented by truckers.

Erie County Coroner Brian Baxter said the skull, which is missing its jawbone, was bare of flesh or hair. He could not determine how long it laid in brush beneath a tree.

Perkins Township police Lt. Al Matthews said a Wal-Mart maintenance man collecting trash in a landscaped area at an auxiliary parking lot behind the store's garden center spotted the remains at about 3:08 p.m. Tuesday.

He said it's too early to speculate about whether the remains could be the result of foul play. He did say the area where it was found is used by truck drivers as an informal rest stop and could have possibly been dropped off.

Acting Perkins police Chief Rob Parthemore and forensics agent Jeff Cook of the Bowling Green office of the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification collected evidence at the scene. Matthews said the agent dug holes in search of additional remains. He had no further information.

A bank teller working inside Wal-Mart said during a cigarette break the maintenance man relayed to her that he found a skull and other bones. According to the teller, the man said at first he thought the skull was a Halloween prop. After picking it up, he realized it was human.

Wal-Mart managers scurried Thursday to prevent media contact with employees. They would not disclose the maintenance man's name.

Baxter sent the skull to the Lucas County Coroner's office, where staff anthropologist Julie Saul will examine it for DNA and officially determine the age and sex of the person.

Lucas County Coroner James Patrick said he took only a cursory look at the skull after it arrived. He said he has no knowledge of other bones being received, though investigator Charles Hunt said the office received more than one human bone.

"There's no story here," Patrick said. "It's a skull."