POSTED: 10:18 am PST January 31, 2006
CHICO -- Construction workers renovating a home here discovered a partially burned human leg bone, and now police are compiling a list of missing persons dating to 1927.
The bone was found Jan. 26 as workers cleaned a fireplace ash box.
Chico Police Lt. Greg Keeney said the home was recently sold and is unoccupied during the renovations. Police are compiling a list of residents who have lived in the 79-year-old home over the years.
Professor Turhon Murad, a forensic anthropologist and chairman of the anthropology department at California State University, Chico, identified the bone. He said investigators usually use clues found in the human skeletal system to establish the age and sex of a deceased person, making it hard to determine in this case.
"On the surface it sounds like there's a lot of mystery to this," said Chico Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Barrow. "If there's an attic, we'll be searching that, and the grounds."
Police sent the rest of the ash for anthropological analysis.