Juneau police are hoping an autopsy Tuesday leads to the identification of human skeletal remains that were found Sunday in a ravine about 100 yards south of the Crest Condominiums on Vista Drive.
The bones were found by a jogger cutting through the woods at the end of a nearby trail, according to Sgt. John Boltjes. He said there were no obvious signs of foul play. Although the body may have been there for only a few months, many of the bones were scattered by animals, he said.
The remains have been sent to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Anchorage.
"A cause of death may not be possible (to determine)," Boltjes said. But he added that he is hoping the body could be identified through dental records. "We think we know who it is."
He would not speculate about the possible identity of the deceased before receiving a positive identification and having the opportunity to notify relatives.
Several people have gone missing in Juneau in the last several years. One lived in an area not far from where the body was found.
Thomas Gardner, 42, went missing on March 10. His disappearance was discovered when a bus driver for the Tlingit-Haida Head Start program called the house to ask why Gardner's 5-year-old daughter had not been to preschool for a few days. After the authorities discovered the girl was alone, she was taken into the custody of the Division of Family and Youth Services, and a search of the area turned up no signs of her father.
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