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Thread: Has anyone here ever come across human remains in the woods?

  1. #1
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Has anyone here ever come across human remains in the woods?

    I realize that this is pretty unlikely since I suspect very few people go missing without being found within few days. Still, folks who are bushwhacking are more likely to make a discovery like this. I guess the only recent case in northeast that comes to my mind is of Geraldine Largay.

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    One of our members found human bones on Mt Kancamagus. He recounted the story in post. I think the remains were eventually traced to a suicide.

    The RMC trail crew was working off trail on Mt Adams and found the remains of another suicide victim.

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    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    Remnants of what remains of the original thread (no pun intended). Trail conditions report appears gone at this point. I remember the story well although it took me a couple of hours to remember the screen name of the finder.

    Skull on Kancamagus

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Don't remember the year or name but there's probaIbly remains in the Lafayette Brook drainage. There best guess anyway of this missing hiker by accounts given.
    Joe

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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Well, yes, only sort of. As a SAR tream member/crew boss, i have been on incident searches where the fairly recently deceased were found, including a couple of weeks ago at Tupper Lake NY, although I was not the actual first to find and locate. Another tream actually found the body, but being nearby, I led L.E officers to the scene.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    I was extremely shocked to come across a fairly recently deceased moose carcass heavily predated by coyotes (I guess) in valley of abandoned Black Brook Trail. It was an extremely gruesome scene. It was December 19, 2009 and snow depths were fairly shallow. I was wandering around off trail hunting for recently dropped moose antlers. I was fairly new to bushwhacking and my mind tended towards paranoid mind games playing in background of my mind. This unfortunate animal still had his antlers. After my initial shock I decided to take bunch of photos. I'd insert a photo here, but suspect moderators might deem this inappropriate content.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    It appears that links to Union Leader articles cited in "Skull on Kancamagus" thread no longer work, so not a lot of details but the story is quite intriguing. Obviously a skull is relatively easy to identify but there must have been other things like clothes wherever this person committed a suicide that would make it easier to discern the bones from what otherwise an untrained eye could mistake for animal remains. I guess one factor here is that coyotes and other carnivores likely would discover decaying body and tear the clothing possibly taking body parts away from actual place of death. I have read that a number of cold cases have been solved with DNA analysis in recent years but that might not have been yet feasible in 2004 as the large DNA databases probably came to be at later time.

    I have only found animal remains in the woods (lots of deer in New Jersey) but also some antlers with my largest find being in Zion NP several years ago:
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    Senior Member evilhanz's Avatar
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    Here is the missing article abut Neighbor Dave's discovery:

    Skeletal remains found
    May 9, 2004 | New Hampshire Union Leader / New Hampshire Sunday News (Manchester, NH)
    Author/Byline: MICHAEL COUSINEAU Union Leader Staff | Page: A1 | Section: News

    A hiker out on a scavenger hunt Friday discovered human skeletal remains in a rugged and remote region of Mount Kancamagus east of Lincoln, state police said last night.

    Police quickly ruled out that the remains belonged to Maura Murray, the Massachusetts woman who disappeared from Haverhill on Feb. 9. The remains are believed to be at least several years old.

    "We're looking into any missing persons/hikers reported missing from that area, and I'm aware of one and maybe two from the last decade who were in fact missing and not found," State Police Lt. John Scarinza told the Sunday News last night.

    Authorities hadn't determined whether the remains were of a man or woman.

    "We're going to send the remains to the medical examiner for identification and cause of death," he said.

    A jacket and sneaker were found at the site. Scarinza said the items "appeared to have been out in the elements for quite a long time." No further details were available.

    The hiker reported his discovery to State Police Friday and authorities waited for sufficient light before heading out with the hiker yesterday to find and recover the remains in an area more than 3,000 feet in elevation, he said.

    "It's certainly safe to say he was bushwacking off the trail, which is probably why he had located the remains and others have not through some pretty rugged terrain up there," Scarinza said.

    He said the hiker, whose name wasn't available, was participating in a treasure hunt.

    Hikers frequently compete in such games using global position satellite equipment to find items hidden in water-tight containers left in challenging locations.

    Members from State Police, the New Hampshire Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service removed the remains from the mountain, which is located south of Route 112 in the town of Livermore, about 8 miles from the center of Lincoln. Authorities took approximately nine hours to reach the site and return with the remains.

    The skeletal remains were found about 25 miles east from where Murray was last seen.

    The discovery isn't unprecedented.

    "In my career in the past 25 years, I know of at least several occasions where skeletal remains have been found in northern New Hampshire," Scarinza said.

    Meanwhile, the families of two missing women came together in Haverhill yesterday to plead for help from the public and federal authorities.

    Fred Murray's daughter, Maura, 21, disappeared on Feb. 9 in Haverhill after a car accident.

    The Weymouth, Mass., man was joined by Bruce and Kellie Maitland of East Franklin, Vt., whose daughter, Brianna, 17, was last seen on March 19.

    Also lending their support were Charlotte and Michael Riley of Chester, parents of 20-year-old Amie Riley, who was last seen leaving a Manchester bar in August. Her body was found last month in a marsh.

  9. #9
    Senior Member evilhanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Don't remember the year or name but there's probaIbly remains in the Lafayette Brook drainage. There best guess anyway of this missing hiker by accounts given.
    That was Michael Miller who went missing in Oct 1983. A classic case of a late day start with inadequate gear into steadily worsening weather conditions. Miller separated from his companions and left the trail. No trace was ever found. There was an extensive write up about the search in Appalachia (Summer 1984). It was noted that Miller's was the first case of a hiker going missing in the Whites without being later found since the 19th century, although you could argue that John Keenan should count.
    Last edited by evilhanz; 11-29-2021 at 01:47 AM.

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    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    The only part of the copy and pasted news article that I’d challenge - as it doesn’t jibe with my recollection of the incident - is the characterization that Post’r Boy was participating in some sort of geocaching game. As far as I recall, he was “just” regular old bushwhacking/peakbagging. Also don’t think he’s a GPS guy as the article insinuates. Perhaps “looking for the canister” was misconstrued and repeated by an audience who didn’t understand what he was really doing up there in the first place.

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Caution: Thread drift. I found a body once on the Mass/RI line in Westport, Mass but she was sitting at the wheel of her car with a view of the Westport River and the marshes. There was no mystery. An empty pill bottle and a suicide note could be seen on the passenger seat. I could read the note through the window and it was heart-breaking. The woman was quite obviously deceased so no rescue was attempted. We called 911 and turned the situation over to the local Police.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Once I didn't find a corpse, but should have. Early spring hike, noticed an awful smell above treeline but dismissed it - thought it was a moose if I thought about it at all. Somebody else hiking the same trail a day or three later followed the smell to the source, and I read the resulting SAR report here on VFTT: hiker had gone missing the previous fall/early winter, body was found in a cavelet under a boulder.

  13. #13
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puma concolor View Post
    The only part of the copy and pasted news article that I’d challenge - as it doesn’t jibe with my recollection of the incident - is the characterization that Post’r Boy was participating in some sort of geocaching game. As far as I recall, he was “just” regular old bushwhacking/peakbagging. Also don’t think he’s a GPS guy as the article insinuates. Perhaps “looking for the canister” was misconstrued and repeated by an audience who didn’t understand what he was really doing up there in the first place.
    I used to do a lot of geocaching and it often meant going off trail, so this would make a lot of sense to me personally but I can just as easily see someone searching for the canister at the top.

  14. #14
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
    Once I didn't find a corpse, but should have. Early spring hike, noticed an awful smell above treeline but dismissed it - thought it was a moose if I thought about it at all. Somebody else hiking the same trail a day or three later followed the smell to the source, and I read the resulting SAR report here on VFTT: hiker had gone missing the previous fall/early winter, body was found in a cavelet under a boulder.
    This reminds of a story I heard many years ago in Roztoka Valley Hut in Tatra Mountains. This was in pre-cell phone days, so in the evening we were just sitting by a fireplace and chatting. One of the hikers related a story of an early Spring hike during which he (or maybe it was someone else) saw this lady laying on a boulder and he though she was just trying to catch some sun. When he was returning the same way later in the day that lady was still in exactly same spot and as the story had it the "sunbathing" person went missing in prior hiking season and was only discovered after snow melted. To be honest I couldn't verify this story but it sure made the fireside chat interesting!

  15. #15
    Senior Member JimC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puma concolor View Post
    The only part of the copy and pasted news article that I’d challenge - as it doesn’t jibe with my recollection of the incident - is the characterization that Post’r Boy was participating in some sort of geocaching game. As far as I recall, he was “just” regular old bushwhacking/peakbagging. Also don’t think he’s a GPS guy as the article insinuates. Perhaps “looking for the canister” was misconstrued and repeated by an audience who didn’t understand what he was really doing up there in the first place.
    All correct, as related to me by Post'r Boy (one hardcore bushwhacker!).

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