More questions than answers about 4 bodies
Chuck Squatriglia, The San Francisco Chronicle
Even as they sifted through evidence Thursday, Davis police remained
tight-lipped about the mystery surrounding the mummified remains of
four people found dumped outside a trailer park trash bin earlier
The case has so far stumped the police, who are treating the
discovery as a homicide but admit they don't know how or when the
people died or where the remains, found June 3, came from. They have
called in the FBI and a forensic anthropologist to help crack the
case but said they still have more questions than answers.
"We're no better off than when we started," said Lt. Jim Harritt,
The remains were found in a container -- which Harritt declined to
describe -- next to a trash Dumpster at Slatter's Court, 1075 Olive
Dr. The manager's son hauled the trash to the landfill before
discovering the remains and notifying police, Harritt said.
The remains have yielded few clues, and the Yolo County coroner and
an expert from the state Department of Justice were unable to
determine the age, race or sex of the victims, Harritt said. Stumped,
they called in a forensic anthropologist at California State
University in Chico. He so far has been able only to identify some of
the remains as having been female.
"The rest are still up in the air," he said.
Meanwhile, investigators have focused on a resident of Slatter's
Court. Harritt would not identify the man -- whom he described as a
"person of interest" and not a suspect -- or say what led authorities
to his home, which they searched Wednesday.
"We retrieved a number of items," he said. "We need to sort through
what we've got, and some of it might go to the FBI crime lab."
Among the theories police are considering are that the victims met
with foul play and that their remains were taken from a research
facility or grave site.
"The only crime we know we have is the improper disposal of human
remains," Harritt said. But authorities lack the evidence to call the
man a suspect in even that crime, he said.
Authorities said they have found no missing-persons cases that might
be linked to the remains.