Bristol Police Department Lt. Debbie McCaulley said Sunday the remains found so far comprise “a very small percentage” of a human body. But photos of those remains have been e-mailed to forensic specialists and are confirmed to be human.
The remains will next be sent to the University of Tennessee Anthropology Lab to be analyzed for identifiers such as sex, race and age.
McCaulley said it’s very difficult at this early stage of the investigation to determine how long the remains have been there.
“There are a lot of variables that determine how quickly a body will decay such as weather — if it’s hot or humid — or if there’s a lot of insect activity, a lot of animal activity,” McCaulley said. “We had a warm fall and it could be just weeks. Or it could be years.”
There are no clues as of yet regarding the gender of the person or whether foul play has occurred.
The area where the remains were found is a remote area within the Bristol city limits near the side of a mountain that is separated from Cedar Valley Road by a creek.
Two children were out playing in the woods with their grandfather Saturday afternoon, and the grandfather recognized the remains to be human.