Sheriff: Nothing new in skeleton case

By Andy Winemiller -

DOBSON — No further information is available in the case of a skeleton found near Mount Airy nearly a week ago.

According to Sheriff Graham Atkinson, authorities have yet to receive the results of an autopsy performed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

A week ago, local residents were walking their dogs on a property located at the end of Lynnhaven Road when they stumbled upon human remains, according to Atkinson.

The remains were discovered in a wooded area, only yards from a dirt trail which runs through a field owned by the Ararat Rock Products Company.

Officials from Atkinson’s department, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and Surry County Medical Examiner John Shelton were at the site the next day gathering physical evidence.

Atkinson said the remains had been scattered by animals, and there was little left of the person to which the remains once belonged.

“It (the skeleton) has been there for an extended period of time,” he explained. “It is fully decomposed. We have only a skeleton to work with.”

Atkinson noted an anthropologist would have to look at the bones.

At the time, the sheriff indicated the remains would be sent to Baptist Hospital, where they were to be examined. The examination should tell investigators matters such as how old the person was at the time of his or her death, the person’s gender and ethnicity and how long ago the person died. Authorities are also hoping the examination will turn up a cause of death.

While at the scene of the find, Shelton indicated he was unsure how long it would take for autopsy findings to be returned to Surry County authorities.

“I don’t think we will know anything until next week,” said Atkinson on Thursday.

Atkinson said once his department has the results of the autopsy, officials can begin the process of determining who the person may have been.

The case is being investigated as a homicide, and Atkinson asked that anybody with information regarding the case call the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 401-8900.

By Andy Winemiller

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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