DAVIS, Calif. -- Yolo County authorities said it could take months before mummified remains, mostly bones, of as many as four people found outside a trash bin in a trailer park here are identified.
The male and female body parts may belong to a person who has been dead for months, while others may be years old, coroner's officials said. Police are treating the case as a homicide, but acknowledge they so far have little explanation for the find.
"At this point we have more questions than answers," said Lt. Jim Harritt, Davis Police spokesman. "We don't know if we're dealing with a homicide, materials taken from a research facility or graves dug up."
The son of a trailer park manager found the container full of remains Tuesday next to a trash bin stuffed with old computer monitors in the trailer park. After taking the remains to the landfill by truck, he called the police who arrived in time to retrieve them.
"There is not soft tissue left," said deputy coroner Mary Williams told the Sacramento Bee. "There is decomposition of some remains and mummification."
Sacramento-area authorities say there are no missing-persons cases that could be linked to the remains, which are being examined by a state Department of Justice forensic expert and an anthropologist from California State University, Chico.