Hunters find skeletal remains in brush area between Wapato and Toppenish

Hunters find skeletal remains in brush area between Wapato and Toppenish
Courtesy: Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management

Authorities say hunters found unidentified skeletal remains Sunday in a brush area near the intersection of Track Road and Winaway Road, about halfway between Wapato and Toppenish.

The remains were found some time prior to 8:30 a.m., when Yakima County sheriff’s deputies were called to help at the scene.

Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said it’s unclear if the remains are male or female and the age is undetermined. He said it’s unlikely the remains belonged to a young child, but otherwise could range anywhere from a young adult to an older adult.

Curtice said the area where the skeletal remains were found is covered in heavy brush and that the remains were not visible from the roadway.

A cause or manner of death has not been determined at this time.

It’s unclear if the land where the remains were found is part of the Yakama Nation. Yakama Nation Tribal Police and the FBI responded to the scene in the event the case may end up falling under their jurisdiction.

The Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management responded as well, helping to document the scene using an unmanned aircraft, often called a drone.

Curtice said they’re in the early stages of identifying the remains, but hopes to use dental records for identification.

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