Sheriff's office recovers human remains in Woodland Estates in Crystal River area (copy)

Members of the Citrus County Sheriff's Office pull an airboat from a canal Thursday, Sept. 9, off of the Crystal River in the Woodland Estates area. “At this time, we are waiting for the (medical examiners’) report to determine a possible timeframe for death,” said Brittney Carman, CCSO spokeswoman.

A trail user stumbled upon a grisly discovery in the late afternoon hours Wednesday, Sept. 8. He told a 911 operator he had followed the trail back from above and down to the water in the Woodland Estates community in Crystal River and found human-like bones at the waters edge, a Citrus County spokeswoman told the Chronicle on Friday, Sept. 10.

The caller told the dispatcher he could meet up with officers at the trail and guide them back to where he discovered the bones. How long the remains have been there, their identity or how they ended up their all remain a mystery at this point, said Brittney Carman, CCSO spokeswoman.

The sheriff’s office brought in its dive time Thursday, Sept. 9, to assist with collecting the remains and scouring the water for possible evidence, Carman said.

“At this time, we are waiting for the (medical examiners’) report to determine a possible timeframe for death,” she said.

How long it could take to determine the identity of the remains is “very dependent on the medical examiner’s findings and on doing a DNA comparison to have it matched to other DNA records,” Carman said.

The cause of death, she explained, could be determined by medical examiner’s using forensic anthropologists to study the skeletal remains that could reveal a lot of information.

Whether it is linked to a current missing person’s case is uncertain, Carman said.

“It's possible that this could be tied to a missing person case, however, until we have further information provided by the medical examiner’s office,” she said, noting the sex, possible age and more, “we cannot start to fully connect those dots.”

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