MENDOCINO Co., 3/8/20 — A partial human skeleton was found on private timberland north of Westport yesterday and today the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), with assistance from the Chico State Anthropology Department have recovered the remains.
According to MCSO Lt. Shannon Barney, they managed to recovered a bit more than half of a human skeleton, though much of it had been scattered by animals, and a determination of sex, age, or manner of death had not been made. Barney noted that there were no indications nor evidence of foul play.
The remains were discovered by a local man yesterday. The man had been searching the area for a lost friend, Lewis Compton, but there is not yet any evidence to indicate that the remains are Compton’s. Barney noted that as far as the MCSO knows Compton remains missing. The skeleton was found near mile marker 86 of SR-1.
The remains had been in that area for “an extended period of time,” though whether that was months or years is unclear, the rate of decay varying considerably based on animals, the weather, and placement of the body.
Two items of clothing were also found near the body, as well as a shoe, but nothing else of significance or that would lead to an immediate identification of the remains. Officials hope to preform more analysis and identify the remains in the near future.
Involved in the operation were the MCSO, the California Highway Patrol, and the Chico State Anthropology Lab, as well as Mendocino County Search and Rescue.