Remains found could be 1,000 years old

Posted at 8:08 AM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 08:08:06-05

Crews were digging for gravel on Joanne Shaffer's property when she says a human skull rolled out of the dirt.

"Wondering who, and how long has it been there and how many or what is it. Just because people are missing their loved ones and you just don't know," she said.

Michigan State Police arrived on the scene, but realized quickly the bones were probably too old to be connected to a recent death.

Forensic teams were called in, including anthropologists from Michigan State University. There's still lots of testing to be done, but they said it looks like the skull and several other bones are 400 to 1,000 years old and probably Native American.

"I know that there were Indian reservations around here," Shaffer said. "But didn't know they were back here, in my house, on my property." The land is right off of U.S. 127 about 30 miles south of Jackson in Hudson.

Michigan State Police are still investigating and working with MSU to make sure the remains are not connected to a crime. "We're pretty confident that this isn't going to turn out to be a crime scene," F/Lt. Kyle Bowman of the MSP Jackson Post said. MSU researchers took the bones to run tests and figure out exactly how old the remains are. Bowman says he's curious to find out, too.

"It's pretty cool. It is pretty cool. I hope we don't find any more," Shaffer said, laughing. "But now it's pretty neat."

MSU anthropologists say they don't suspect any other old bones are on the property, and they won't be digging around for any.

That is, of course, unless owners stumble upon any more.