Skull, bones found in Adams County woods

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NATCHEZ — A logger called the Adams county Sheriff’s office Monday when he discovered a human skull near Sandy Creek Road near the Franklin County line.

The logger was marking timber near the road off of Old Highway 84 No. 3 when he saw something in the brush and picked it up to discover it was a skull, Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said.

Mayfield said the skull appeared to have a large-caliber bullet entry wound behind the area where the right ear would have been and an exit wound in the left ear region.

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Deputies roped of the scene Monday and called in search and rescue teams and investigators to search a 100-yard circumference for remaining bones.

Monday’s search produced two rib bones and a vertebra in addition to the skull, Mayfield said.

The search continued Tuesday, and another vertebra and rib bone were found, he said.

Mayfield said the bones were turned over to Adams County Coroner James Lee.

Mayfield said Lee may seek help from Louisiana State University to identify the age, gender and ethnicity of the bones.

Mayfield said the jaw and area below the ears was mostly deteriorated, leaving no opportunity to identify it based on dental records.

“Due to the decomposition of bone, there is no way for me to tell how long it’s been there,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said the skull did appear to belong to an adult.

He said he has spoken with Franklin County Sheriff James Newman about the incident.

Mayfield said there is a report of missing person, Juil Matthews, who has been missing for approximately five years.

Matthews, a 74-year-old Franklin county man who went by J.L., and his red 1989 Mazda pickup truck have been missing since 2007.

Mayfield said perhaps further analysis can narrow the search to include or rule out Matthews.

The vertebrae and rib bones were reportedly found 40-50 yards away from where the skull was located.

He said it would be common for animals to disperse the bones. And since the skull was found at near the bottom of a bank, it could have washed down the bank several yards.

Mayfield said the area was wooded and contained fairly thick brush.

“That area is pretty remote, and until (people) started logging there probably haven’t been too many people down there,” he said.

Mayfield said he thinks the bones were not more than 10 years old, but it he cannot be sure until forensics tests are completed.