Elmore County investigators have felt all along this was a murder. That much was obvious when a Lake Jordan resident found the remains in July. The bones had been partially buried, covered with a green tarp.
"It had lime around it to mask the smell," said Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin.
What authorities couldn't tell at the time was whether it was male or female.. how tall or short.. how long the skeleton had been there, and perhaps more importantly, a name.
"This is a little bizarre," Franklin said.
This week after 5 months worth of testing LSU pathologists in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, completed their 20-page report. First, the bad news for Elmore County detectives.
"They couldn't identify the remains," Franklin said.
But homicide investigators have at least an idea the remains are those of a female.
"We now know she was between 5'2" and 5'7". Still don't know if she was white, black or native American. The pathologists do believe she had been buried there anywhere from 3 months prior to the bones being found and 4 years," said Franklin.
Sheriff Bill Franklin hasn't quite seen anything like this, although he hasn't give up. His scope is now turning global.
"We're going to put this information in the National Crime Information Center and see if we can get a match at least on the physical characteristics of the remains. We could get a call from Los Angeles, Detroit, or New York. You just never know," said Franklin.
Still unclear as of this report is how the woman died. The forensic tests by LSU pathologists showed no obvious wounds.
Sheriff Franklin says the remains from Louisiana will be sent back to forensics in Alabama and they will stay there until there is a new break in the case.