Investigators with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office are working to verify the identity of scattered human remains found on the San Juan Ridge Friday.
“We think it is a male that was living in the woods over by Mother Truckers,” said Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Fevinger, Nevada County’s coroner.
A man who described himself as a friend of the dead man discovered the remains Friday morning in the area of Tyler Foote Crossing and Oak Tree roads, where the Mother Truckers store is located, according to sheriff’s dispatch reports.
“We have an idea who it is, but we still have to investigate to make a determination,” Fevinger said.
Authorities believe the remains were those of an elderly homeless man in his 80s, whose name was not released Monday by the sheriff’s office.
That person likely died between three and four months ago, Fevinger said, noting that his remains were scattered and heavily decomposed, making verification difficult.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Fevinger said. “We don’t have a lot to go on. We have to do our due diligence. It will be slow and methodical.”
Foul play is not believed to have been a factor in the person’s death, Fevinger said. It is possible, he conceded, that the remains had been subjected to depredation by wild animals.
“The person had been out there for quite a while,” Fevinger said. “Until we get a little further into it, it is hard to determine what happened.”
Nevada County has seen the death of a few homeless residents per year in recent years, though usually during colder months.
In April, prominent Nevada City homeless man William “Bill” Peach, 48, was found dead at his campsite. In January, Jennifer Waddell, 42, died in a Sacramento hospital after last being seen in Grass Valley, and a 49-year-old homeless man, Kevin Lamar Kuhn, 49, was found dead behind Grass Valley’s old post office two days after Christmas in 2012.
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