A man’s black Labrador retriever brought a human skull to his master’s yard three months ago. The pooch delivered a femur Monday.
But it took a volunteer firefighter and his bloodhound to find what may be the remains of a person missing for more than four years, Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said.
That person’s cause of death was suicide by hanging, Turnage said.
“That’s what the evidence indicates and we’re pretty sure about that,” he said.
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Turnage gave praise to the man and dog who found what’s believed to be the rest of the remains.
“That firefighter and his bloodhound both deserve a steak dinner,” Turnage said Tuesday.
DNA tests must be performed to see if the skull matches the femur or the other remains before a medical examiner and anthropologist can confirm the bones belonged to the same person — and who that person was, he said.
The remains found Monday were in the area of Sycamore and George Mitchell roads.
“We believe it’s a person reported as a missing person but we can’t release a name until we know for sure who it is,” Turnage said.
The remains are believed to be those of a person reported missing in February 2012, he said.
The Labrador’s owner had discovered a skull in his yard Aug. 27. A search team tried to find additional remains at the time but could not.
Then the femur showed up, and the dog’s owner called the sheriff’s department.
Deputies and a search-and-rescue team began to look, to no avail.
Steve Seal, who owns a bloodhound named Bo, was stumped that his dog couldn’t get a sniff that led to bones. So he tied a T-shirt around the Lab.
“He let the Lab run around in the woods an hour or so and then he let his bloodhound sniff the T-shirt,” Turnage said. “His dog had tracked right where the black Lab had returned to where it found the first two bones.”
The Mississippi Crime Lab, a state medical examiner and an anthropologist examined the bones and finished recovering them Tuesday, Turnage said.