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Contractor finds skeletal remains at an abandoned landfill site in Hendersonville

Authorities are investigating what appear to be human skeletal remains found Monday in Hendersonville. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A contractor for the city of Hendersonville found human skeletal remains at an abandoned landfill site Monday afternoon.

Hendersonville police investigators collected a skull and other bones off the Oklawaha Greenway near the Seventh Avenue entrance.

Hendersonville Police Capt. Chris LeRoy said, based on the size of the bones discovered on the ground in the woods, the remains may have belonged to a man.

"There was a skull, some leg bones, I believe. Maybe a shoulder. I don't know all of them that were recovered, but a good amount," LeRoy said. "The skull did have some dental records, some dental work in it. So, if we're able to identify a person. We can maybe go the dental records route."

Investigators had several clues, but not enough to assess a preliminary cause of death.

"There's no obvious signs of trauma," LeRoy said.

According to LeRoy, the means in which the remains ended up at the former landfill site also remained unclear as of Tuesday.

"It's going to be kind of difficult to know if they were placed there or if they died in that spot without, at least, beginning to know who they are and maybe look into their history at that point," he said.

But, LeRoy said, staff at the state medical examiner's office in Winston-Salem should be able to help answer many of the questions in the case.

"Obviously, without some information as to, you know, male, female, any ethnicity, possibly ages, any of those things, that process is pretty daunting," LeRoy said.

According to LeRoy, there were several active missing persons cases in Henderson County, but none involved a man.

Henderson County Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement agencies within the county were notified about the remains, LeRoy said.

Neighbor Aaron Brumgard, who owns a business near the former landfill site, said he was fine with waiting since there was no indication, yet, of a crime.

"There's no telling how long they've been down there. Could've been a drug addict or something and died years ago," Brumgard said. "So, interesting to say the least."

The remains were expected to be transported to the medical examiner's office Wednesday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hendersonville Police Department at 828-697-3025 or Henderson County Crime Stoppers at 828-697-STOP.

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