Sheriff?s deputies and members of Southern Kern Search & Rescue assemble in Lake of the Woods on Wednesday before heading into the hills to look for evidence related to skeletal remains found Tuesday. [Photos by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]
By Gary Meyer
FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 1:30 p.m.)—Human remains found on a hillside overlooking Lake of the Woods on Tuesday, Nov. 18 were still unidentified while sheriff’s search teams looked for evidence on Wednesday.
According to Kern County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Barker, one skull and one rib had been located in the hills about a half mile north of the town of Lake of the Woods.
“The skull did not show any signs of trauma, bullet holes or anything like that,” Barker said Wednesday morning at the staging area in Lake of the Woods. “The teams are going out to search for as much evidence as we can find.”
Eight searchers on horseback, dog teams and about a dozen searchers on foot set out from the parking lot of the J.C. Penney catalog store to comb the hills. The Kern County Coroner’s Office was present to handle remains that may be found in the search.
Kern County Coroner Kelly Cowan said, "We were able to find nearly the entire skeleton, except for a couple of the long bones. We’ll need to check dental records in order to verify the identity."
George Garrigues and his dachshund-chihuahua dog named Poppy were walking in the hills Tuesday morning at about 11:30. According to Garrigues, “I turned to head back and saw Poppy sniffing a white object. Then she started rubbing her head on it. I went over and turned it over with my foot, then saw that it looked like a human skull.”
|George Garrigues and his dog|
Poppy at home in Lake of
Garrigues, a retired journalism professor who has taught at universities including USC and worked for newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, moved to Lake of the Woods from West Los Angeles three months ago.
Frazier Park resident Brenda Melech, missing for six months, was last seen on May 13 at Mountain View Market, only 200 yards from the search team’s staging area. Melech’s friends have been worried for her well-being, saying she was upset before she disappeared.
Lt. Barker was hesitant to say there is a connection to Melech but acknowledged it is possible.
This is part of the November 14, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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