Discovery made

 Barron County Sheriff’s deputies examine what appears to be a piece of dental work as they process this site in the town of Maple Grove, where skeletal remains were found Dec. 4, 2017.

                                                          News-Shield archive photo by Mark Bell

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department has released new information regarding the December 2017 discovery of a human skeleton in a rural area south of Barron.

In a press release dated Monday, May 13, 2019, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said the bones “have been sent back (to Barron County) from the University of North Texas, where DNA profiles were extracted.”

The investigation shows the remains belong to a man who is likely of European ancestry, although someone of Asian descent is not being ruled out.

The individual ranges in age from 35 to 55, and stood approximately 5-feet-10 inches tall, give or take four inches.

Fitzgerald said the Sheriff’s Department also has forwarded several of the bones and DNA profile to the ‘DNA Doe Project,’ in California, for possible additional extrications.”

The project “is an exciting new initiative that uses genetic genealogy to identify John and Jane Does,” Fitzgerald said. “They have become a go-to organization for law enforcement agencies and medical examiners across the country, helping them solve their most intractable cases. They have had amazing success even with cases where the DNA was highly degraded or of low quantity.”

DNA Doe is “an all-volunteer organization that has attracted some of the best genetic genealogists in the industry, all working towards the common goal of reuniting John and Jane Does with their families,” Fitzgerald added.

He said DNA profiles from the Barron remains have also been sent to the DNA Solutions Lab in Oklahoma City for a forensic genealogy build.

“At this time we are waiting for results in hope to bring this case to a conclusion,” he said.

A resident of the town of Maple Grove discovered what appeared to be part of a human skull in his driveway, presumably brought there by the family dog, according to coverage from December 2017.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and started a search near the caller’s property, including a small woodlot located to the east the driveway.

Within two hours of the original call, investigators had located a human skeleton in the woodlot. The location was about 100 yards to the east of the driveway, at a location adjoining a dirt farm road leading into an open field.

The first agency to investigate the remains was the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, Minn. That agency later sent the remains to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, Forensic Anthropology Unit.

Some initial findings were reported from the center in March 2018.