The Pearl River County Sheriff's Department is investigating a shocking discovery made by a resident Tuesday. A skull and the skeletal remains of a man with a nearby firearm. They were found in a wooded area off Rock-Ranch Road, off Highway 43 North.
Elvina Brady and her daughter were searching that area for two ducks that had left their property when they stumbled upon the unexpected.
"It was a skull and I had turned it over because I thought it was plastic," said Pearl River County Resident Sheila Tarver.
But it didn't take her long to realize her discovery was no toy.
"I said, 'Okay, you can go call the sheriff.' I said, 'I'm on my way out the woods now,'" explained Sheila's mother, Elvina Brady.
When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found the rest of the skeleton about 20 feet away from the skull.
"It was estimated the remains had been here two to three years," said Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, along with an anthropologist from USM, spent most of the day combing the area for clues that might help them determine how the man died.
"We did retrieve a shotgun on the scene. Due to corrosion, we were unable to open it," Sheriff Allison said.
Authorities believe they know who the skeleton is.
"He had a wallet and identification on him, and we're 99-percent sure that's him. But we don't want to release that until we're 100 percent sure that's him," said the sheriff.
Officials also will check his dental records. They believe he has a sister in the area and they hope to gain more clues through her.
Officials said they may be able to release more information on this case Thursday.