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Orem police spend day digging for bones along sewer line

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Apr. 27, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.



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OREM -- Police in Orem arrange to dig up a sewer line because a worker came forward with a confession: His excavation crew dug up bones 12 years ago and reburied them without telling authorities.

At the time, the construction workers didn't want the bones to delay their project. Now one of the workers has told police about the bones and has tried to show them the location.

"It's kind of a shot in the dark to see what we can come up with, if anything," said Sgt. Craig Martinez of the Orem Police Department.

After working all day, the crews found nothing.

A guilty conscience has had police looking for possible evidence of a crime.


"We are just trying to see if we can find any bones. We don't even know what type of bones we are looking for, if they are human bones or animal bones," said Sgt. Craig Martinez of the Orem Police Department.

"At the time, they just decided to push them aside and go about their business," Martinez said. "Apparently, this guy working down here 12 years ago felt compelled after watching a cold case show on TV, and so he called us."

Nearby business were given a notice by Orem City informing them of repair work on a sewer line. But with several police officers digging with shovels, it was obvious there was much more going on.

At the time the sewer line was installed 12 years ago, this area was actually a vacant lot. It's since been developed with a road in the area. The workers remember finding the bones, buried about four feet under the surface.

Now police and the medical examiner are sifting through the dirt, looking for any possible evidence.

"We are just trying to see if we can find any bones. We don't even know what type of bones we are looking for, if they are human bones or animal bones," Martinez said. "They have us a general idea of where they thought they would be, but this is coming from 12 years ago."

Police believe if the bones are human, it's likely they belong to an early Native American or an early settler.

Still, they are taking precautions to preserve any evidence if the bones point to a crime.

The worker who notified police has been cooperating. It's unclear if he or the other workers could face charges for not reporting the bones back in 1998.

Police said after a day of digging, it's likely the case is closed.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

Sam Penrod

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