GAULEY BRIDGE, W.Va. — Authorities in Fayette County are investigating the discovery of human remains found in the Kanawha Falls area.

An individual discovered what appeared to be a human skull while searching for arrowheads on Tuesday.

Investigators from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the skull and numerous other bones found in the area were “consistent with human origin and consistent with these bones being buried in a shallow grave.”

“We know the bones are human and appear to have been buried in a shallow grave, as opposed to having been randomly scattered through animal depredation,” Sheriff-Elect Mike Fridley said in a press release Wednesday.

Investigators have already ruled out the possibility that this is an old Native American or Civil War grave site.

Fridley said police now consider this an active homicide investigation.

According to Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Harrah, there is enough biological material to permit DNA analysis of the remains.

Police believe the remains have been in the possible “shallow grave” for fewer than 50 years.

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