Wadena County Sheriff's Office investigates human jaw bone discovered in Crow Wing River

Four bones were found in July in the river by people recreating nearby.

(Wadena Pioneer Journal File Photo of the Crow Wing River)
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A human bone discovered in the Crow Wing River this summer appears to be ancient, according to an investigation by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office and a forensic anthropologist.

People recreating near the river this summer in Thomastown Township found the bones on July 31, 2021, and reported them to the Wadena County Sheriff's Office, according to a news release Wednesday, Oct. 13.

A deputy responded to the scene and was informed that four different bones were found in the river. The bones were collected by the deputy and brought to the Sheriff’s Office. After consultation with the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, the bones were delivered to their office for further examination.

In conjunction with a forensic anthropologist, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined one of the four bones was of human origin and was a mandible. The mandible is the largest bone in the human skull. It holds the lower teeth in place. After forensic examination of the human mandible, it was determined to be ancient and of non-recent origin. The mandible will undergo further archaeological evaluation prior to proper interment, according to the sheriff's office.

At this time, no other information is available on the origin of the mandible and the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office said their investigation has concluded.

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