BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office has an apparent murder mystery on their hands after a group of hunters came across human remains Saturday afternoon. The hunters were in the delta hog hunting when they found a skull with a hole in the forehead.
The Mobile Tensaw River Delta is a hunter's paradise. Even today with high water flooding the delta, hunters were out looking for dry ground to pursue wild hogs and squirrels. Anthony Nelson was doing just that with family and friends Saturday afternoon along Little Lizard Creek when they came across a horrifying find.
"We were just walking along hunting and a cousin of mine just stumbled up on it," said Nelson. "Thought it may have been an animal skull. Took a little closer look and realized it was a human skull with a gunshot wound in the front of it."
The remains were found under the I-65 interstate span of the General WK Wilson Bridge just inside the Baldwin County line. Alabama Marine Police responded initially and then turned the case over to Baldwin County. As disturbing a find as it was, Nelson also considers it very lucky.
"I knew it would be an important find because that's like a slim chance of ever finding something like that you know, so that might have gone unsolved forever," Nelson said.
The find was lucky in more ways than one. In the last couple of days, heavy rainwater has inundated the delta. If the skull hadn't been found when it was, it may have been lost forever. The water has come up so much in the last couple days that they could have walked right by it and never seen the skull.
"The skull would have been about two to three feet underwater today. We went back over there. It would have been that far underwater today," Nelson noted.
Investigators found four or five long bones in the vicinity of the skull and they're believed to be either human arm or leg bones. All of the bones were turned over to the Baldwin County Coroner on Sunday.
At this time investigators don't know if the person was thrown from the bridge, washed ashore with flood waters or died on site where the bones were found, but said they appear to have been there for at least a year. An anthropologist will look at the remains in the next few weeks to try and determine the race and sex of victim
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