WADENA — An item found in the Crow Wing River in July has been identified as an ancient human mandible bone according to the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office.

On July 31, the sheriff’s office was notified of several items found in the Crow Wing River in Thomastown Township, just north of Staples. A deputy responded to the scene and was informed people recreating in the area found four different bones by the river. The deputy collected the bones and brought them to the sheriff’s office. From there, they were delivered to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office for further inspection.

In conjunction with a forensic anthropologist, the medical examiner’s office determined one of the four bones was of human origin and was a mandible — or lower jawbone. After forensic examination of the human mandible, it was determined to be “ancient and of non-recent origin.” The mandible will undergo further archaeological evaluation prior to proper interment.

At this time, no other information is available on the origin of the mandible. The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into this matter is concluded with thanks to the medical examiner’s office for diligence in determining the origin of the bone.

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