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Human skull found in mountains near Popo Agie Falls

Aug 15, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Coroner's Office is investigating a partial human skull discovered by a hiker Monday above the Popo Agie Falls in the Wind River Mountain Range.

"The sheriff's office, Forest Service, BLM archaeologists and coroner's office recovered a human skull above the falls this morning," Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said Tuesday. "It's in my possession right now."

McAuslan said a man hiking in the area located the skull Monday, but it grew dark before authorities could retrieve it. He said two deputy coroners, who are also Bureau of Land Management archaeologists, made the recovery Tuesday.

"It's under investigation, and I don't have any comment at this time," Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said, adding that his agency is treating the incident as a coroner's case.

The falls is an estimated two-mile hike from Bruce's Parking Lot near Sinks Canyon State Park. McAuslan said he was told the skull was found about a mile past the falls.

McAuslan said the next step will be to transport the skull to the University of Wyoming in Laramie to be examined by an expert in identifying human bones.

"He will identify an approximate age, sex and possibly race," he said.

McAuslan anticipates having more information about the skull later this week.

"I sent a message to the university to see when I can go down and meet with them to get an examination of it," McAuslan said Wednesday. "Right now, it's a waiting process."

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