Two hunters were scouting the woods off Peel Dogwood Road in search of turkey when they made a much more important discovery — a skull lying exposed on the forest floor.
They called McCreary County 911, which dispatched sheriff’s deputies to the scene. The deputies verified that the skull was human, secured the scene and notified Sheriff Gus Skinner at approximately 8:20 a.m. The McCreary County Coroner’s Office and State Medical Examiner’s Office were also notified.
The search — which lasted until about 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon — also included the Kentucky State Police, U.S. Forest Service, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and K-9 cadaver units from the Tennessee SRTA.
The crime scene was located off Peel Dogwood Road, about a mile down Forest Service Road 6136. Officers found scattered skeletal remains in a fairly concentrated area approximately 100 feet from the gravel road. Though remote, the area is not unfamiliar to hunters.
“The right one just walked by the right place,” Sheriff Skinner said of the discovery.
According to Sheriff Skinner, the body apparently decomposed on top of the ground. Though investigators had to clear away “several years worth of leaf litter,” they never had to dig below the soil.