Bones found washed up near Easley part of display model

Friday, September 23, 2011 | 6:24 p.m. CDT; updated 7:20 p.m. CDT, Friday, September 23, 2011

COLUMBIA — Two men called 911 Thursday night after they found what they believed to be skeletal remains on River Road near the town of Easley. 

The two men, ages 27 and 31, were walking their dog around 6 p.m. Thursday when one of them noticed something on the side of the road.

"As they were walking by one of the guys said something caught his eye and saw what he believed was a jawbone," Boone County Sheriff's Department Detective Tom O'Sullivan said. "He called 911 and deputies responded."

Boone County deputies searched along the bank of the Missouri River and found two or three bones, O'Sullivan said.

The bones were then inspected by the Boone County Medical Examiner Office and an anthropologist from MU, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Department.

Fastening hardware was found on the bones, and they were confirmed to be a part of an skeletal anatomical display model.

"They (the men) thought it was the real thing," O'Sullivan said. "They thought they had found a body washed up from the river."

High river levels and recent flooding could be the reason the men found the bones, he said. 

The Sheriff's Department saw no indication of foul play and does not have a way of determining how the bones ended up on the riverbank at this time, according to the news release.

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