Officials attempt to ID decades-old human remains located at Palisades Reservoir in Idaho

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia/Palisades Reservoir

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho, April 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials are attempting to identify human remains that may be decades old located at Palisades Reservoir in Bonneville County, Idaho.

“The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Othram Inc. to help identify human remains found in the Palisades area,” said a news release from Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office. “In September of 2002, a man and his dog walking near Palisades Reservoir came upon what appeared to be part of a human skull.”

Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputies responded and searched the surrounding area, recovering additional pieces of a tailbone, pelvic bone, and vertebrae, the news release said. Pathologists examined the remains and concluded the partial skull most likely belonged to a male between 25 and 45 years of age. The remains were substantially weathered, suggesting they may have been in the reservoir for 15 to 20 years prior to their discovery. Further FBI DNA testing revealed the skull and pelvic bone pieces belonged to the same person.

“Deputies researched past drowning cases from 1978 to 1998 where bodies had not been recovered, finding one incident in 1980 where four individuals drowned after their boat capsized about 100 yards from the shore,” the news release said. “Two of those victims were 38-year-old men and the other two children ages 7 and 10. Although this accidental drowning has been a focus of the investigation, Deputies haven’t ruled out the remains belonging to victims of a separate crime or incident.”

Since discovery of the remains, deputies have continued to research and find information that could help with the identification of the remains to solve this case. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Othram Inc., a private laboratory that examines forensic evidence with advanced DNA testing, to help determine who the bones belonged to or the nearest kin to the decedent.

Anyone that may have information on this case, or family ties to missing/unrecovered persons in the Palisades Reservoir area between 1978 and 2002 is asked to contact Sgt. Karl Noah with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office at 208-529-1375.


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