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Additional bones from animals

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (June 11/04) - Police will review three missing person cases as they continue to try to identify a human bone found in an area of brush near the Con Mine property.

Volunteers combed six hectares of greenspace between Ptarmigan and Taylor Roads in late May. The search reconvened after a private citizen discovered what RCMP officials have only described as a human bone last November.

The searchers - eight volunteers and three RCMP officers - uncovered an additional 30 bone fragments over the past few weeks, which an Alberta anthropologist later determined were all animal in origin, said RCMP Sgt. Daryl Key.

The original human bone found has been sent to a southern forensic laboratory for DNA analysis. Key said the testing could take up to six months.

So far, RCMP have declined to comment on what type of bone was found, but Key said it "merited investigation."

Police have yet to determine the age of the bone, but Key said it was not "an artifact."

"We're still waiting for the results from the DNA tests and once we have those, we'll be able to compare it with (missing person) files," said Key.

He said the field of forensic science has advanced steadily over the last several decades, making it possible to uncover information about the bone's origins.

"We have many tools that we can use in an investigation like this," he said.

Police have not classified the case as a suspicious death, though Key said there is a possibility of foul play.