Imagine going hunting in Wyoming and finding a human skull.

What would you do next?

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what one hunter found.

Marc Zancanella found it while hunting elk in area 118, near Wamsutter.

He had shot an elk that scattered about 200 yards before dropping falling over.

As he approached the animal he saw the human skull.

At that point he did what everyone is supposed to do, he called the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

An active investigation is now underway.

That's all that the public knows at this time.

The circled area below is roughly where the skull was found.

attachment-Rawlins Area Wyoming

At this time six people have been reported missing in Sweetwater County.

No one has any idea if this skull is one of the six.

Investigators would have gone out to see if they could find the rest of the body.

Nothing is known about that part of the investigation at this time.

How will they identify this person?

Many techniques will be employed.

DNA analysis may be used to help establish who this was.

Mitochondrial DNA in bones and teeth can be used to confirm relationships of old remains with deceased or living descendants.

It is rather easy, using today's technology to determine—with astonishing accuracy—the age, sex, race, and stature of the deceased, and many other facts about the person’s lifestyle and culture.

Bone and tooth length can aid in determining age. However, that is not the only way they figure that out.

Gender can be readily identified by examining the pubis bone, which is elongated in women to allow for childbirth—although the skull, too, is a good indicator, Wheatley points out. “It’s true that men have big heads,” he laughs. “Females are usually smaller and more delicate. You can determine sex from the skull.” In fact, Wheatley usually begins his examination with the skull, because so much can be determined from it. (Forensic anthropologist Bruce Wheatley, Ph.D.).

Local police will release information when it is appropriate in their investigation.

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