Human skeletal remains found in As Gonno farm after brush fire

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A FEW weeks after a brush fire broke out in the area, human skeletal remains were found by a man while tending his farm in As Gonno on Sunday.

Steven Dela Cruz said he did not see the remains at first because the burned grass was covering them.

“Even before seeing the remains, I already felt goosebumps — then I finally saw them; they were partly burned,” he added.

Saying that police investigation is now ongoing, Dela Cruz declined to provide additional information.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Dre Pangelinan said the farmer called 911 and reported the discovery of the human remains.

Steven Dela Cruz points to the area where he found the partly burned human skeletal remains at his As Gonno farm on Sunday following a brush fire in the area. Photo by Bryan Manabat

He said the Historic Preservation Office confirmed that the remains were not from the ancient/war era.

In a statement, DPS said the owner of the land was conducting some farm work when he “felt something was out of the ordinary.”

The individual then “walked around his property and discovered what looked to be human remains. He immediately contacted the police,” DPS said.

The skeletal remains were found in an area where a brush fire broke out a few weeks ago, DPS added.

“Observation on the bones that were dug up revealed that there were roots growing in between and around the bones suggesting that the remains had been there undisturbed for a couple of years,” Pangelinan said.

“At this time,” he added, “the department is unable to confirm the age, gender, and/or nationality of the remains.”

DPS is requesting assistance from the public. “This case remains ongoing and if you have any information that could aid the investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 664-9042, or if you wish to remain anonymous you may call the CNMI Crime Stoppers Hotline at 234-7272.”

In Dec. 2018, DPS said over 10 cold cases remain unsolved in the CNMI.

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