George Garrigues and his 12-year-old dog Poppy at home.
By Gary Meyer
Human remains found on a hillside overlooking Lake of the Woods on Tuesday, Nov. 18 were still unidentified as 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.
George Garrigues and his dachshund-chihuahua mix 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.”
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.
According to Kern County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Barker, the remains were 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 before the investigation was completed. “The teams are going out to search for as much evidence as we can find.”
Eight searchers on horseback, dog teams and 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 assist.
They discovered a location “overlooking a beautiful valley” where the the rest of the remains were found, a bottle of vodka beside them.
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.
Lt. Barker was hesitant to say there is a connection to Melech but acknowledged it is possible.
See www.MountainEnterprise.com for updates.
This is part of the November 21, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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