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State

Skeletal remains found near Gridley appear old

GRIDLEY — Possible skeletal remains found Monday morning alongside the Mackinaw River in Gridley Township appear to be archeological in nature, the McLean County coroner’s office announced.

The coroner’s office was notified shortly after 8:30 a.m. after a kayaker on the river spotted the remains on the shore, Coroner Beth Kimmerling said.

Members of the sheriff’s department and coroner’s office spent several hours in the remote area, collecting fragments along the embankment, she said. The exact location isn’t being disclosed to protect it, she added.

About 150 fragments were examined Monday afternoon by forensic pathologist Dr. J Scott Denton. He formed “the preliminary opinion that these are archeological skeletal fragments of multiple individuals with roots growing through the marrow,” Kimmerling said.

“We found mandibles with teeth. The molars were well-worn with no restorations,” said Kimmerling, who noted the fragile, crumbling remains showed no signs of traumatic injury.

No manmade artifacts were evident at the scene, which did not appear to be a formal burial site, the coroner said.

The coroner’s office contacted Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield for assistance. An IHPA expert is scheduled to arrive Tuesday to help determine the age, origin, and disposition of the remains.

The state agency has no record of archeological sites there, Kimmerling said.

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©2013 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)

Visit The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.) at www.pantagraph.com

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