NORTH COLLINS, N.Y. (WIVB)- Crews worked most of the day Saturday and overnight into Sunday to exhume human remains from a wooded area in North Collins.
Two hikers called the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Saturday morning around 11:10 a.m. after discovering skeletal remains near Marion J Fricano Town Park.
Officials say a Deputy who responded to the scene located a boot above ground in the vicinity and verified the contents inside to be part of a human skeleton.
A Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Erie County Medical Examiner Office and a Mercyhurst College anthropology group worked through the night excavating.
Experts believe the body had been buried a while ago, anywhere between 15 to 30 years.
The Medical Examine Office removed the remains and will start examining the body Monday. The remains are so deteriorated it might be difficult to identify the body.
Officials say the park here has changed over the years, they think maybe some of the soil washed away, exposing the body.
“How it managed to get to the surface like that, it may have been there all along, maybe it was covered, maybe no one came by that particular area and saw it before or recognized it so, not sure exactly, but it was exposed enough obviously for someone to see it,” said Capt. Gregory Savage, ECSO.
The ECSO will now start looking into missing persons cases to try to identify the remains. They will send out information nationwide, including the type of the boot and any distinguishable clothing and see if it matches any missing persons report in the country.