The mystery remains whose human bones were found in a rural field in Buckeye on Thursday. But DNA testing is already underway to make an identification soon.
“It all depends on what bones are recovered,” said ASU Forensic Science professor Anthony Falsetti.
Authorities said the bones were found scattered all over a rural area off State Route 85 near Broadway Road, and said it likely took a long time to find the bones because the area was covered in water during monsoon season.
Authorities believe the bones could be those of 10-year-old Jesse Wilson, or 34-year-old Christine Mustafa. Both bodies were searched for in the Buckeye area last year.
[SPECIAL SECTION: The Search For Jesse Wilson]
[SPECIAL SECTION: The search for missing Phoenix mom Christine Mustafa]
Falsetti said the next step in this process will be determining whether these are remains of a child or an adult, and the skull that was found holds those answers.
“With a skull, it should be fairly easy just by the teeth,” said Falsetti.
Anthropologists will match dental records and DNA evidence. But the next step is finding out how long the remains were in that field and how the person died. For that, testing relies heavily on the environment to create a timeline.
“Insects, plants. There are other types of evidence they would look at that would help. There will be a mix of hard evidence and circumstantial evidence, and that’s how they’ll determine the cause and manner of death, said Falsetti.
He said during testing, anthropologists will have to be extra careful not to contaminate the DNA, because if these bones are involved in a homicide case, they want all evidence to be preserved for a court trial.
Buckeye police expedited the testing process and expect to get identification results in the next week.
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