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Bone fragment found in Mountain Valley Pipeline's path is not human

Unclear at this time if bone is human or animal

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Roanoke determined that the bone fragment, which was found on private property, on Iron Ridge Road in Franklin County, was not of human origin.

Experts determined the bone fragment came from an animal. 

The Virginia State Police have closed the investigation.


A bone fragment found in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Franklin County is being analyzed to determine if it's human, according to Virginia State Police.

State police were called to a home on Iron Ridge Road at 10:50 a.m. Friday for a reported possible bone fragment that was reportedly found in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  

A trooper arrived and Mark Joyner, with the Association for the Study of Archaeological Properties, gave him a bag containing the bone fragment, according to police. 

Joyner said the fragment appears to be a portion of a vertebra from a mammal.

The remains were transported to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Roanoke for evaluation, which may take several days.  

The origin and the age of the fragment will dictate how police will proceed.

Police said Daniel Angles found the fragment on his land sometime between 8 and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday while walking around his property. Prior to the pipeline easement, the land was used to grow crops.

Angles did not contact law enforcement officials until Friday, according to police.

Police searched the immediate area where the fragment was found but did not find any other remains.  

Since the remains were removed from the location at which they were found, investigators will determine if the remains are human before investigating further. 


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