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New Times / News

The following article was posted on August 21st, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 4 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 4

Buried bones disrupt construction in downtown San Luis Obispo

BY RHYS HEYDEN

As construction workers labored to renovate a house at the corner of Nipomo and Pacific streets on Aug. 16, a startling discovery stopped them in their tracks.

Just a few feet deep in the dry dirt of the front yard, a collection of long, old bones protruded from a freshly dug trench. Workers at the site confirmed the finding to New Times, but referred official requests for comment to their boss.

“It was an eight-foot-long area, and my foreman just kept finding more and more bones,” said Kevin Morrison, owner of Toyon Landscapes, the contractor working the project. “We had never found bones at any of our sites before, so this was pretty rare.”

Morrison, fearing the bones might be human and not wanting to damage possible evidence, called the authorities to the scene. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Coroner Investigator took the bones in for analysis that morning.

“They couldn’t identify the bones right away, and the officer told me it could be nonhuman, it could be a Chinaman, it could be a Native American, or it could be Aunt Millie,” Morrison said.

“We were pretty intrigued, too,” said Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Tony Cipolla. “After a few hours, though, the coroner determined that the bones were deer bones.”

Cipolla wasn’t sure why such a profusion of deer bones—which appear to be very old—were buried at a shallow depth in a corner lot just a stone’s throw from SLO’s downtown center.

By noon on Aug. 16, however, construction had resumed on the lot. Workers at the site said they were baffled by the bones, but still had a job to do.