Skull and bones investigations continue

AUTHORITIES say they are yet to determine the age and gender of a human skull and bones discovered near Colac.

A farmer reported the skull and at least eight bones to police after finding them on the shore of Cundare Pool, north of Colac.

Colac police transported the bones to the Coroners Court for further assessment on Friday.

A Coroners Court spokeswoman said an anthropologist was testing the bones.

“The bones are being examined by a forensic anthropologist to try and determine the age and gender, and that will determine if the Coroners Court has jurisdiction,” the spokeswoman said.

She said the bones would not attract a coronial inquest if anthropologists found the person had died more than 100 years ago.

“If the bones are between 50 and 100 years old, the court has discretion over whether there will be an inquest or not,” she said.

“And if the bones are found to be less than 50 years, the case is passed on to police for further investigation.

“Also if the bones have been there for a relatively short time then it will be handed over to police to determine if it was someone missing or the bones are from a family plot that could have washed out.”

An anthropologist from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria visited the Cundare site on Friday to investigate whether the bones were from an Aboriginal burial site.

The Coroners Court spokeswoman said anthropologists would know the gender of the bones “fairly quickly”, as well as whether they were Aboriginal.

“The age of the person can usually be determined by the teeth but determining the ageing process can take much longer.”

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said homicide detectives were yet to take over the case.

“Homicide are aware of the skull and bones and are monitoring the case but are awaiting results from the Coroners Court,” she said.





3 Responses to “Skull and bones investigations continue”

  1. John Clarke

    Why is it acceptible to photograph and publicate the remains as if they are part of a freak show? Propped up and on full display for the viewing public. This same question was asked when the Barongarook Creek remains were disturbed during construction works. Would it be deemed acceptible to publish images of remains dug up in the Colac cemetary? Of course not! I find the pictures to be grossly inapropriate and a sad reflection on how Aboriginal remains can be treated with such indignity and dis-regard for their human worth. For my human worth.

    • Online Editor

      At the time of publishing the photographs the Colac Herald believed the images depicted a possible murder. The Colac Herald has removed the photographs from its website in the wake of evidence suggesting the remains are those of an Aboriginal person from a burial site. – Online editor