Human remains found last month undergoing testing

Personnel with the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office and University of Idaho Anthropology Department conduct an excavation at the Salmon River location where human remains were discovered on Sept. 16.

Determination on human remains found along the Salmon River last month is pending anthropological examination. However, Idaho County law enforcement believe, at this point, it is not related to any of its unsolved cases.

“It doesn’t appear to be any of our missing people,” said Detective Jerry Johnson, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO), based on an initial dental examination of the skeletal remains first discovered Sept. 16.

The skeletal human remains are currently are undergoing testing at the University of Idaho.

According to an ICSO release, most of the skeletal remains of one adult were recovered. At this time, however, there is no specific information as to the identity of the remains or the time frame they have been at this location. 

On Sept. 16, ICSO was notified when beachcombers located a few small pieces of bone that appeared suspicious to them, 10 miles downriver from White Bird on the Salmon River. The bones were found in a remote location, under the high-water mark, at a back eddy and nearly entirely under sand and silt.

The small bones were turned over to ICSO and photos were sent to forensic anthropologist Sara Getz with Idaho State University Anthropology Department in Pocatello. She confirmed they were of human origin but was unable to make further conclusions. 

On Sept. 26, ICSO employees were taken by jet boat to the location by John and Alyssa Adkison. At this time, the site was partially excavated. Due to the specialized nature of the excavation site, it was determined the sheriff’s office would seek professional assistance to recover the skeletal remains. The area around the site was secured, and ICSO reached out again to Getz and arrangements were made to return to the site at a later date.

On Oct. 1, ICSO employees, and Dr. Kate Kolpan and Dr. Lee Sappington, both from the University of Idaho Anthropology Department, boarded the boat belonging to the Adkisons and returned to the site to carefully continue the excavation. After all of the remains were collected, they were packaged and turned over to Dr. Kolpan for further testing.

The sheriff’s office stated its thanks to all of the individuals who assisted in the recovery efforts, especially John and Alyssa Adkison for assistance and use of their personal jet boat to assist the ICSO.

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