Authorities confirm bone found in construction site near Chukchansi Resort and Casino is human

MADERA COUNTY (KFSN) -- Before crews can continue building up, investigators will have to dig down after the Madera County Sheriff's Office confirms the bone found near Chukchansi Resort and Casino is a human bone.

"We have folks trying to make contact with the same tribal folks that have been handling on their end, so we can coordinate what we need to do as a follow up investigation as a coroners case," said Sheriff Jay Varney, Madera County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Varney said preliminary reports from the forensic anthropologist at Fresno State University show that the bone seems to be 18 to 30-years-old and possibly came from a male. He said usually, bones found on tribal land are 100 years or older, because this one's fairly younger it is a coroner's case and being investigated as a possible homicide.

However, Varney said they need to do some more searching to determine if there are more fragments at the site and why it was even there in the first place.

"The entire range of possibilities is out there."

A press release from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians state the bone was found on Wednesday and steps were immediately taken to secure the area.

"The ground where the discovery was made is completely roped off and construction has halted in that section," said Claudia Gonzalez, Chukchansi Tribal Chairwoman.

The Sheriff's Office said they expect to bring in cadaver dogs to help the search and eventually saying they may need to dig some more to see if there are any more remains at the site.

The Sheriff's Office is asking if anyone knows anything, to contact the department. They also say that during the investigation, they expect to have someone at the area 24/7 until parts of the area can be released.
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