Mille Lacs County Times

Posted: 7/15/04

Bones found at auto salvage

By Dawn Slade
Mille Lacs County Times

The odor coming from a Dodge Caravan that was about to be crushed at Freyholtz Auto Salvage in Milaca was bad, but when Danny Freyholtz found the cause of the odor, it led to the involvement of the sheriffís office and the county coroner.

Inside a plastic bag, which had split open, were bones in a thick, gooey matter. The bones consisted of vertebrae, ribs and one arm bone.

Freyholtz immediately contacted the Mille Lacs County Sheriffís Department on Monday, July 5 when the discovery was made.

Neither the sheriffís deputy nor the undersheriff could determine if the bones were human or animal. So, the deputy county coroner was called in. He could not make a determination either.

County coroner Dr. Janice Amatuzio, a forensics expert, was the one who finally determined the remains were not that of a human.

"It was an animal, we know that for sure," deputy coroner Tom Bolduc said.

The sheriffís office says it was most likely that of a bear. Because there was no head, paws or fur, it is believed someone poached a bear and skinned it for its hide.

The Dodge Caravan was originally abandoned at an apartment complex in St. Cloud and was eventually impounded by a towing company in April.

When no one claimed the van, it was sold to Freyholtz. When the auto salvage company tipped the vehicle on its side to begin dismantling it for crushing, a number of plastic bags fell out - including the bag of bones.

Undersheriff Alan Marxhausen said Freyholtz did the right thing by contacting the sheriffís department, especially since the bones were so similar to that of a human.

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Mille Lacs County Times
225 2nd Street NW, P.O. Box 9
Milaca, MN 56353
Telephone: 320-983-6111 Fax: 320-983-6112