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W.Va. man unearths pelvic bone in backyard

July 27, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

BOLIVAR, W.Va. --A man who was digging around a tree in his backyard found what appears to be an old pelvic bone, Jefferson County Medical Examiner Donald Shirley said Tuesday night.

The bone was found Tuesday afternoon at 44 Cleveland St. in Bolivar, W.Va., Shirley said. It was photographed by West Virginia State Police and the images are expected to be analyzed by the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston, Shirley said.

The bone could be further examined by an Smithsonian Institution forensic expert, but Shirley said a decision has not been made on whether to transport it, Shirley said.

While it could be a human bone, Shirley said it might also have been from a cow, which has a similar bone in its skeletal makeup.

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Shirley declined to identify the man who found the bone.

Police Chief Donald Buracker said a neighbor took the bone to the police station about 4 p.m. and it was turned over to Shirley.

"We're waiting on official results," Buracker said.

Shirley doesn't view the bone discovery as suspicious.

Bolivar was the site of the largest single capture of Union troops in the Civil War, according to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park accounts.

"There very well could be bones in that area," Shirley said.

Situated along the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry and Bolivar overlooked important transportation corridors in the Civil War, including the B&O Railroad and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

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