Photo submitted.
                                Mushroom hunters found a partial skull in a woods on the north end of Whidbey Island on New Year’s Eve.

Photo submitted. Mushroom hunters found a partial skull in a woods on the north end of Whidbey Island on New Year’s Eve.

Skull found on North Whidbey

Investigation underway to determine origin, coroner says

Mushroom hunters on North Whidbey discovered a partial skull in a woods on New Year’s Eve, according to Island County Coroner Robert Bishop.

Searchers continue to scour the area for additional pieces of the skeleton, but Bishop said he has little to go on at this point to help him identify the skull’s owner.

“We have a lot more searching to do,” he said. “We’re just getting started.”

The partial skull is “years old” but likely not ancient Native American remains, he said. He’s working with the state forensic anthropologist Kathy Taylor to possibly learn more about its origin.

The skull is old and the bone is very thin, so it’s unlikely to contain DNA, according to the coroner.

On Dec. 26, Island County officials reported that several sets of human skeletal remains were discovered in the area of Ebey’s Landing on Central Whidbey.

The remains were within a Native American archaeological site, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has been notified of the find.

The sheriff’s office asked the public not to disturb the site, warning that doing so is a felony under RCW 27.53.060.

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