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Skeleton in Windsor park may have been there at least a year

  • Sonoma County Regional Parks director Caryl Hart, third from left, confers with search and rescue volunteers and members of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office who are investigating a skeleton found at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in Windsor on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG/ PD)

Skeletal remains discovered at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in Windsor over the weekend appear to have been there for at least a year, a Sonoma County sheriff's official said Monday.

The park had been closed since Sunday afternoon after a father and his two young children on a hike found a skull and a tennis shoe in a creek bed about a quarter mile into the park from the parking lot, Lt. Carlos Basurto said.

On Monday, investigators removed a full skeleton found hidden in the leaves and dirt as well as other evidence, including the shoe and a pair of Dockers brand pants, Basurto said.

Forensic technicians and search and rescue volunteers were also brought in to scour the area.

The park was expected to be reopened to the public at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Basurto said detectives will attempt to identify the person through DNA evidence, dental records and missing person reports.

“It will be take a while to determine who it is, the gender and cause of death, if we can determine that,” Basurto said.

The Sheriff's Office closed the park after the father called in the unusual finding at about 2:20 p.m. Sunday in a creekbed off a trail. A deputy was stationed overnight to guard the area.

Basurto said the area could easily be missed by hikers who stay on path.

Shiloh Ranch park is off of Shiloh and Faught Roads, southeast of Windsor.

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