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Found bone not human

The thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone. That’s hardly disputable.

But when it came to identifying a thigh bone found on San Juan Ridge, opinions differed as to whether it was human or animal. In the end, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office concluded it was from an animal.

“I’m not sure what it was, but it was definitely a quadruped – like a bear, or something like that,” Sgt. Ron Smith said Thursday.



Bones are common finds in Nevada County’s woods, and bear and human bones are often confused.

Investigators first took the 12-inch bone to a Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital pathologist, and he said it was human, according to Smith.




For the final word, investigators on Wednesday drove to California State University, Chico, where anthropologist P. Wiley works.

“Before we even got it out of the bag, he said, ‘That’s not human,'” Smith said.

Wiley, who was busy with a Civil War project at the time, regularly identifies bones for the Sheriff’s Office on a volunteer basis.

The latest bone was discovered by a hiker Aug. 5 on a trail near Moores Flat Road, south of the Middle Yuba River.


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