A person canoeing the Eel River on Sunday found human remains close to Stafford. Due to their extreme state of decomposition, the coroner's office has not been able to learn the sex or any other identifying features of the body.
Chief Deputy Coroner Ernie Stewart said it appeared the body had been there "quite some time." The majority of the body was on shore with one hand still in contact with the water. The remains may be shipped to Chico for identification; Stewart confirmed that dental records may be an option for identification.
A skull on the Eel River in March 2015 on the Eel River was identified as the remains of Daniele Bertolini
, one of two missing women whose deaths are believed to be connected. The fate of Sheila Franks, the second woman, is still unknown.
From the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
On May 15, 2016 at about 1:00 PM the Sheriff's Office was notified by a person canoeing on the Eel River of possible human remains found on the Shively side of the Eel River near Stafford. Deputies responded to the location and were able to confirm that the remains were of human origin.
A Sheriff's Detective and Deputy Coroner responded to the scene. The remains are described as mostly skeletal. Due to the extreme decomposition of the body, it is unknown if the remains are male or female at this time. Further examination by a pathologist or anthropologist may be needed before we have any further information to release.
Anyone with further information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office.